Fun, Healthy Alternatives to Easter Candy

According to the National Confectioners Association, Americans buy more than 700 million pieces — about 120 million pounds — of Easter candy annually. That is nearly half a pound of candy for every man, woman and child in the country! As a nation, it is estimated that we consume 16 billion jelly beans during the Easter season. If those jelly beans were placed end to end, they would circle the globe almost three times. So, before stocking up on chocolate eggs and jelly beans, consider these alternatives to traditional Easter candy.

  • Healthy snacks like trail mix, granola bars, whole-grain graham crackers and dried fruit wrapped in cellophane bags tied with colorful ribbons. Add a personal touch by making your child’s favorite homemade snacks such as whole grain muffins and fruit dipped in dark chocolate.
  • Art supplies such as markers, crayons, coloring books, paint, stamps, stickers and Play-Doh will keep them entertained for hours.
  • Outdoor toys that are inexpensive and easy to find at the dollar store, such as bouncy balls, jump ropes, water toys and sports balls will get your children outside and moving.
  • Mini alternatives to candy that you can hide in plastic eggs such as: Matchbox cars, marbles, Legos, necklaces, bracelets and rings.
  • Easter-themed Legos so they can build their own Lego chick, or Easter basket complete with Lego eggs!
  • Dress-up accessories budding fashionistas will love such as: sunglasses, lip gloss, hair accessories and colorful featherweight scarves — also great for playing catch indoors on a rainy day!
  • Stuffed animals such as rabbits, chicks, and lambs, to complete their barnyard family.
  • Children’s cookbook “Kid Chef” by Melina Hammer.
  • DIY Coupon Book. Find a template online  and create personalized coupon decks. Some ideas: no chores for one day, one trip to the movies and one day to stay up late.

Ultimately, let your creativity run wild! Fill Easter baskets with items that will make your children giggle, run around outside, or play dress-up with their cousins. It’s OK to hide a few of their favorite Easter treats in the bottom.

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