Thursday, April 5, 2012

Basket full of treats

While perusing the pharmacy the other day, I noticed how colorful the candy aisle is this time of year. Whenever Easter rolls around, the food industry gets particularly creative, packaging orange Reese’s pieces to look like carrots or breeding a rainbow selection of marshmallow chicks. I love Easter candy treats as much as the next jealous Passover observer but I thought this year, I would get creative too. What else could you put in that Easter basket besides candy?

Why have you done a good thing?

I enjoy and indulge my sweet tooth just like any chocolate lover, but with limits. Treating yourself to a 100-calorie sweet treat daily is healthy and perfectly acceptable for a balanced diet and maintaining your weight. Keeping sugar to a minimum, yes even on holidays, is important for a healthy lifestyle. This of course is always harder with big holidays meals and tables full of desserts. Research says that setting up family traditions that emphasize non-eating activities and traditions help us to make memories for the holidays and special occasions that aren’t just about food, preventing overindulgence in later life.

To help you out this year, we have some great ideas for your Easter basket that promote activities rather than purely eating candy. Of course, here are Your Secret Ingredient we are all about balance so here are ways to make your Easter basket filled with healthier ideas as well to make your holiday healthier and wonderful this year!

Creative Easter Basket Treats

Healthier Sweet Treats:

-Annie’s Bunny Grahams. Sweet, delicious, and festive, Annie’s bunny grahams have a great addition of fiber and less sugar than the average graham treat. Plus aren’t they just so cute?

-Homemade popcorn balls for a sweet high fiber treat

-Jellybean Trail Mix. Instead of a bag full of jellybeans, water it down with a healthy trail mix of nuts, dried fruits, and your child’s favorite cereal. Package the trail mix inside of plastic eggs for a festive touch. Don’t like jellybeans? Use Cadbury chocolate eggs for a festive touch and just a hint of candy.

-Cheddar Carrots. Fill piping bags (used for cake decorating) with Goldfish crackers and tie the end with a great ribbon or string for Easter bunny fuel!

-Fun shaped peanut butter sandwiches using these great cookie cutter from Crate and Barrel

-Baby carrots or sliced apples with Justin’s Nut Butter Packs

-If you are really craving peeps, try making your own. Thanks Martha Stewart!

More creative additions:

-Favorite Toys. Silly bandz, nail polish, bey blades, DaGeDars would make you their favorite on Easter morning!

-Go gardening. A mini plant or a gardening kit with seeds is a great way to start off Spring

-Sidewalk chalk. Get outside and color the driveway or sidewalk for an active Easter.

-Get in the kitchen. Let them help make breakfast Easter morning with great pancake molds. Here are adorable Easter-themed pancake molds from Williams Sonoma

-More products from Crate and Barrel for baking!

-Keep baking! Get out your favorite family cookie recipe. A great Easter activity, here is another great idea from William Sonoma: Easter Cooking decorating.

-A new book, like a copy of the Hunger Games if they haven’t read it

Happy Easter!

--Amy Santo, MS RD CDN

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