It’s that time of year again when our normal (over) consumption of sugar basically goes full throttle – welcome to Easter! It always amuses me when people say, “But, it’s just one day.” I don’t know how that excuse can work anymore when there are junk food and candy-worthy occasions practically ever time I turn my head (think school events, sports practices, church, etc.). And if you think you’re doing okay because you try to avoid sweets, added sugar now (unfortunately) lurks in all sorts of unexpected places, including salad dressings, dried fruit, spaghetti sauces, breads, cereals, condiments, flavored yogurts, beverages, and even crackers. The main problem here is that it all adds up!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a sugary treat on occasion (although I do prefer to save that indulgence for a homemade cookie as opposed to bottled salad dressing!). The problem is though how different people define “on occasion.” For some parents they might let their kids have a sugary treat just once a week or once a day or even after almost every meal. Where do you stand?
How much sugar are we supposed to have?
Let’s not forget that the recommended daily allowance of added sugar is six teaspoons (24 grams) for women, nine (36 grams) for men, and three (12 grams) for children. In the case of our kids – you’re basically done after just 1 Cadbury Egg or 2 Marshmallow Peeps. And that’s only if they don’t have added sugar for the rest of the day, which I think we can all agree is highly unlikely for many.
My whole point with today’s post is to share with you that Easter can still be fun without a complete sugar overload. My kids love the ideas in today’s post, and I know yours will too. So go have fun together – and feel good about it! :)
Fun Easter Food For Kids!
- Easter Carrots
Seriously, how cute are these? Thanks to some inspiration from Pinterest we quickly learned how easy these Easter carrots are to make. You simply stick a toothpick in the top, pull it out, and then insert the curly parsley in the hole. I saw lots of different versions of these with the tops being made out of chives, flat leaf parsley, and more. We paired ours with homemade onion dip from my cookbook.
- Little Chicks!
I agree that this next one looks like it could easily become a “Pinterest Fail,” but they aren’t as hard to make as they look! With a little time and steady fingers all you have to do is make your standard deviled eggs sideways. I cut a tiny triangle out of carrot for the nose and made sort of octagon-shaped eyes out of pickles. I couldn’t quite master a round shape, but I thought they still turned out great. We did have a couple that didn’t quite turn out, which we just munched on as we worked. :)
- Whole-Wheat Carrot Cupcake “Nests”
Now if you’re looking for easy this is your answer. For these cute cupcake nests I simply made the Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from my cookbook and then added some unsweetened toasted coconut and 3 dye-free jelly beans on top. You can find the jelly beans at stores like Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods – or other health food stores that don’t allow artificial food dyes in their products. One note, when toasting the coconut (I did it in our toaster oven) be sure to keep a close eye and stir often. My girls were super excited about this one, and I loved that it included a modest serving of jelly beans!
Basket Themes and Plastic Eggs
As I’ve mentioned on previous blog posts – there’s all sorts of non-candy fun to be had with Easter baskets, too! Here are a bunch of ideas, and be sure to check out my post from last year for more detail and pics.
- Spring Break or Summer
- Frozen Movie (or other favorite movie)
- Upcoming Trip/Travel
- Active (i.e. sports clothes and outdoor toys)
- Arts and Crafts
- Makeover (nail polish, nail file, etc.)
- Go to the movies (tickets, popcorn kernels, etc.)
- Sports (tickets to a game, ball toys, etc.)
- Dress-Up Clothes
What To Put In Those Plastic Eggs…
- Clues on paper (for a scavenger hunt with their Easter basket surprise at the end)
- Coveted $2 Bill
- Gem mining rocks
- Coins (including a half dollar and/or golden dollar coin)
- Mood ring or necklace
- Silly bands or rainbow loom bands
- Earrings or other small jewelry
- Puzzle pieces (try jumbo eggs for this one)
- EOS Chapstick (actually looks like an egg by itself!)
- Seeds to plant
- “Coupons” for special time with mom/dad
- Hair clips/rubber bands
Please share your “healthy” Easter ideas with us in the comments!
27 thoughts on “Fun Easter Food For Kids (+ more ideas!)”
These are fabulous ideas! I’m doing a gardening themed basket for my son since I’m starting a one this year. I’m using a gardening tool bag as a basket – filled with gloves, just-his-size tools (he’s one yr old), fun colored boiled eggs, and one package of mini M&M’s. My husband and I use a “punch card” to keep track of how much sugar/processed food we eat. That we know exactly how much we are eating a it takes the guess work out.
We eat pretty healthy most of the time…lots of fresh fruit n veg whole grains and lean meats. But i still let my kids have treats sometimes… especially on holidays or parties. They will hunt for chocolate eggs the foil wrapped mini ones but will probably only each get to have 5 or 6…and a few the next morning. Then the rest get put up and away and they have a few here and there once or twice a week sharing with us. Half the time they forget about it after a few weeks. But in some ways id rather a bit of chocokate than more “stuff” and knick knacky toys just for the sake of consumption
Yellow onions, purple cabbage, beets, and Tumeric simmered and mixed with white vinegar make great dyes for eggs. We add a few flower petals with modge podge too.
Thank you for all your great ideas! We’ve gone 90% sugar free with food items too with trying to keep sugar to mostly Sunday since they get treats at church and their grandmas. On “special occasions” we aren’t perfect yet so I love all your ideas. Hopefully next year we can have sugar free holidays but we limit it. Like sugar free egg hunt with Legos and erasers Saturday and those and art things in basket on Sunday with only a few chocolates/candies. My kids are liking the nonsugar items more! So I look forward to trying more of your ideas when I have more time to do homemade. Keep them coming. :) thanks. I have your cookbook too and can’t wait to use it.
Awesome ideas, I love the little chicks, and of course, who doesn’t love muffins :) I recently decided to do the 100 days of Real Food. It just so happens, that Easter, my partners birthday, my birthday, and 4th of July will all fall within this timeframe. Your website and recipes, and ideas have been REALLY helpful in finding good healthy alternatives to holidays, and other special occasions. Along with the regular everyday. Thank you so much for posting before, and continuing to share ideas.
For years I have filled my girls Easter baskets with fun non-candy item. My irritation is with all the junky (artificial colors, flavors and ingredients) candy they get from extended family. I have tried to get my family to limit the quantity of candy they give, but they rarely listen. I work hard to keep my kids under 3 teaspoons of added sugar on weekdays allowing for homemade dessert on the weekend. It is frustrating when my efforts are thwarted!
I hear you, Kristin! We used to live 10 hours away from family, now we live within an hour of both families, and I just cringe at the treats they give my 4 year old. How do we handle extended family members who don’t care about the nasty ingredients in these food products and who insist on giving them to my child?
Hi. I think you will find this helpful: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/24/being-polite-vs-honoring-your-values/.
Love these ideas! And want to make the Whole Wheat Carrot Cake cupcake Nests but I don’t yet have the cookbook for the recipe! Found Whole-Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins on the website – is that the same recipe? Thanks!
Hi Deb. You could certainly use the Carrot Applesauce Muffin recipe with similar results. You can find the whipped cream frosting here: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/05/recipe-whole-wheat-chocolate-cake-with-easy-whipped-cream-frosting/.
What great ideas! I sooo appreciate your website!!
great post! We live in Florida and do outside- summer type baskets each year. We are already knee deep in chalk and swimming, so new stuff is always welcome by the kids. Dollar store and Walmart often have egg-shaped chalk, which is fun for baskets!
Can you site your source for the recommended sugar amounts? I have seen the info for adults, but cannot find anything that says a limit for children. People don’t believe me when I say we eat too much sugar these days.
It’s the American Heart Association’s recommendation …here’s an article about it: http://www.rodalenews.com/recommended-sugar-intake
Although I don’t think we could ever go candy free at Easter I love all these ideas. I have your cookbook and am going to look for the carrot cake recipe. Yum!
Why sell yourself short? “Could never go sugar free?” sounds like you have already given up. Sugar is attacking us every day, being shoved down our throats by corporations who give us no other option, leaving those who resist empty handed at grocery stores.
It kills me every time I cant fulfill a shopping list because of terrible product ingredients, coming home with half my list isn’t uncommon at chained food stores.
Why do I resist? Even when there is no other option?
It’s because I refuse to give money to people who insist on making me sick. Never again will I ever pay anyone to send me to the doctor… just to pay more bills.
We all must vote with our dollar and understand that we can’t set the presidence for the future.
Do you mean to be encouraging or patronizing and judgemental? Unfortunately, you come across to me as the latter. Happy Easter to you and yours.
She came off as encouraging to me and made me feel empowered not to give up.
I totally agree, Ian!! Very well said. And yes, I also felt encouraged by your reply.
Has anybody tried your Carrot Cake recipe using gluten free flour? I would love to make a healthier version of carrot cake, but have to stick with GF.
Hi. This might be helpful. There is a conversion chart for various substitutions at the bottom: http://theheritagecook.com/gluten-free-3/gluten-free-baking-tips-and-hints/.
Fabulous Find! Thank you for sharing the conversion chart. I wish I came across this about 2 years ago. This would have saved me so many times. I bookmarked it so that I can easily refer to the chart. Thank you!
I make these all the time using ground gf oats in the same measurements!
I do it all the time- just grind gf oat flour in same measurement as normal flour!
Our Easter basket tradition was inspired by Martha Stewart. It is a small basket with some paper grass and one small but excellent quality chocolate bunny. That’s it. At the time, I chose this because it gave a nod to popular culture, but allowed us to keep the religious meaning of Easter as the primary focus of the day.
Love these ideas, especially the little chicks! We’ll definitely be adding those to the lineup this year. I just did a post on no candy Easter basket ideas. It’s so fun to reinvent family traditions with less candy but still maintaining the fun. :)
Great article. I think the round eyes for the deviled eggs are probably capers, though and not round pickles.