Like Halloween, we can be overwhelmed by candy and sweets during the Easter holiday. While Easter baskets are a fun tradition for both kids and adults, it’s important to balance sugary treats with fun, healthy alternatives.
Avoid Sugar Shock
A diet of Easter candy and sweets can be bad emotionally and physically for kids. Large amounts of sugar in a short period of time can result in drastic mood swings due to sugar highs and lows. If not properly cleaned away, this “sugar bath” can damage teeth, leading to cavities.
“The ideal treat in any Easter basket is a toothbrush and favorite toothpaste,” states Dr. Lance Heppler, DMD, a dentist in Vancouver, WA. “There’s a wide selection of fun toothbrush colors and styles, as well as toothpaste flavors.”
Your kids may not be overwhelmed with joy at receiving this important treat in their Easter baskets, but they can be fun within a balance of additional healthy snacks and treats.
Snacks for Hunting
One of the highlights of the Easter holiday is the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Whether you participate in your larger community or out in your back yard, there are many alternatives to candy that can be hidden inside eggs.
Packaged in small cellophane bags from a discount grocery store, you can include the following yummy treats inside medium or large plastic eggs:
- Dried fruit, such as mango, pineapple, or blueberries
- Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Raisins – these are already egg-shaped
- Organic bunny-shaped fruit snacks or crackers from Annie’s Homegrown
You can also make your own version of a treat I like to call “Bunny Trail Mix.” Combine Cheerios (or similar low-sugar cereal), small pretzels, nuts like almonds or peanuts (be aware of food allergies), raisins or other small pieces of dried fruit, and jelly beans to make a fun and healthier Easter alternative to candy!
Include Brain Food
Easter basket treats don’t need to be food-related. Instead of hiding food products inside plastic eggs, use coins or folded dollar bills. Then when it’s time to empty out the eggs found in the Easter hunt, your children can practice sorting and counting money.
Other “brain foods” include small books, magazines, and comic books as well as games involving shapes and puzzles. Once Easter baskets are sorted through, take some time to read or play with your kids using these treats!
Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer. For more information about how to best take care of your children’s teeth, contact Dr. Lance Heppler, DMD, a dentist in Vancouver, WA.