Thursday, February 11, 2016

Healthy Easter basket ideas for your child

Looking to avoid filling your child's Easter basket with candy? Nutritionists Beth Wallace and Melanie Savoca offer some creative ideas for healthy Easter baskets that your children will still enjoy.

Healthy Easter basket ideas for your child


It’s springtime!  If your family celebrates Easter, you may end up with a basket of candy as big as a Halloween pumpkin.  If you want to avoid the sugar rush this year, there is still plenty of time to make a healthy Easter basket swap.  Melanie Savoca, a registered dietitian at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and mother of a two-year-old, helped me put together this list of Healthy Easter Basket alternatives:

Garden theme - What better place to "grow" special family memories than in a garden? Gardening with your kids not only provides the tangible benefits of fresh food, but also teaches kids about new foods, and offers an opportunity to work towards a common goal. A Garden-themed Easter Basket could include things like:  

  • Vegetable, fruit, herb seed packets
  • Flat stones that kids can paint or decorate to label each plant in the garden
  • Kid-sized garden gloves & sun hat
  • Small watering can and kid-sized garden tools

Artist Basket- Do you have a budding Picasso in your house?  Use this opportunity to refresh their art supplies and they will have the items long after a sugar high would last:  

  • Water color paints
  • Stickers
  • Coloring books
  • Washable markers
  • Mini easels or inexpensive frames to display their work

Warm Weather Basket - Soon enough the weather will warm up, and your little ones will want to spend the longer days outside.  Get them ready with things like:  

  • Sunglasses
  • A hat in their favorite color
  • Bubbles
  • Jump rope
  • Sidewalk chalk

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Sports Basket - With baseball spring training underway, give kids something to get excited about for a winning season with:  

  • Baseball cards
  • A tee shirt from their favorite team
  • Wiffle ball bat
  • A new water bottle
  • Hat or visor

Little Chef Basket - Does someone in your family love to help you in the kitchen?  Give them their own tools of the trade:  

  • Mini muffin or pancake mixes
  • Colorful measuring cups or spoons
  • An apron
  • Fresh berries
  • A mixing bowl as the basket

These items certainly don’t need to be expensive; head to your local dollar discount stores to fill those baskets on a budget.  

Still want a sweet treat?  Dip some strawberries in orange-dyed white chocolate (they will look like carrots!) or throw in miniature versions of their favorite candy for dessert.  

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Registered Dietitian at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS Assistant Professor of Psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Temple University Hospital
Peter Bidey, D.O. Medical Director of Family Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Christopher C. Chang, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAAAI, FACAAI Associate Professor of Medicine in division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UC Davis
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist of The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., F.A.A.P Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Magee DeFelice, M.D. Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Chief of Pediatric Emergency Services at Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Adolescent Medicine Specialist at Crozer-Keystone Health System
Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D Associate Professor in School Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, R.D. Registered Dietitian at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Emiliano Tatar, M.D. Pediatrician at Einstein Healthcare Network Roxborough Plaza
Jeanette Trella, Pharm.D Managing Director at The Poison Control Center at CHOP
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D., ABPP Director of Integrated Health Care for American Psychological Association
Flaura Koplin Winston, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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