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Do you remember your Easter baskets when you were a kid? I sure do. On Easter morning, I couldn’t wait to find my Easter Basket and consume all the sugary goodness it contained. Cadbury eggs, Marshmallow Peeps, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies. I’m practically drooling just thinking about it!
Unfortunately, those sweet treats are exactly the reason that I struggle with weight and
a bit of a sugar addiction now. Since I don’t want my son to develop those same unhealthy habits, I’ve made a point of giving him minimal sugary treats. Instead, I try to give him healthier sweet treats on a daily basis. The treats in his Easter basket will be no exception.
Extra sugar and other bad ingredients
The average American consumes roughly 60 pounds of added sugar per year. That’s right six-zero. For reference, that is approximately twice the weight of my almost two-year-old. Talk about a lot of sugar…
It’s not just in the sweet treats anymore. It’s in everything. I was amazed at how restricted I became when I cut sugar out of my diet a few years ago. It wasn’t just candy and ice cream I lost. I lost almost every processed food on the shelf.
The worst part is that consuming all of this sugar only makes us want more of it! Sugar is incredibly addictive. It activates the pleasure center of our brain and, like a drug, keeps us coming back for more for another dopamine release.
In addition to the sugar, traditional Easter candies contain other questionable ingredients found in most processed foods. Filled with various forms of dyes, chemicals, and extra sodium and saturated fats, there is absolutely nothing good about them. Reading the back of any candy bar, I know it’s definitely not something I want my son consuming now or craving in the future.
Creating a healthy toddler Easter basket
The holidays are horrible when it comes to indulging in sweets. Stockings at Christmas are filled with candy. So are Easter Baskets. If you’re anything like me, when you think of an Easter basket, your mind immediately floods to the brightly colored, chewy candies. Lots of chocolate. And maybe a stuffed bunny.
So how can we make sure that we break that cycle and create healthier toddler Easter baskets? By thinking outside the box…and outside of the Easter candy aisle.
There are tons of options that are either naturally sweetened with fruit or have minimal added sugar. If you want sweet treats, a little sugar is impossible to avoid. It’s what makes it sweet! But we can, and should, choose treats that are a little less sweet and avoid added sugars as much as possible.
I know how hard it can be to break the cycle when you have a hard time making the right food choices yourself. I also know the struggle of feeling like you’re depriving your child by not giving him things you loved so much as a kid.
They’ll never miss what they don’t know. If we keep super sugary treats to a minimum, they very likely will grow up to dislike those types of treats. I know tons of people who are that way. We only miss it and struggle with it because it’s what we grew up with.
I want to help you ensure that your child doesn’t grow up the way we did. Below is a list of 20 sweet treats for a toddler Easter basket that they will love. They’re sweet and delicious but aren’t overly sweet. Most do not have added sugar. The ones that do have a minimal amount. Many of them are also great for kids with allergies as I chose products that are minimally processed and have very few ingredients.
20 Healthy, Simple Toddler Easter Basket Treats
- Larabars– They’re like a candy bar! They come in numerous flavors, some sweeter than others. Just be sure you don’t get any with nuts as they are usually chunks and could be a choking hazard for a younger toddler.
- A healthier homemade muffin from a local bakery- Lots of small, hometown local bakeries use much better ingredients and have significantly less sugar than store-bought baked goods.
- Freeze-dried fruits and veggies
- Homemade trail mix- A few mini M&M’s, dried fruit, Cheerios or other whole grain cereal and put it in a fun Easter bag.
- Annie’s homegrown Bernie’s Farm Animal Cookies– Zachary loves these, and so do I. Individual packages, minimal sugar and colored naturally using fruits and vegetables. With bunny shapes and vibrant colors, they even work with the Easter theme!
- Bare Apple Chips
- Stretch Island Fruit Leathers
- UNREAL Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Nana’s Gluten Free Lemon Cookies
- YumEarth Organic Pops
- YumEarth Gummy Bears
- Plum Kids Organic Fruit and Veggie Shreds
- Plum Organics Mighty Snack Bars
- Earth’s Best Organic Letter of the Day Cookies
- Little Duck Organics Freeze Dried Snacks
- Happy Baby Organic Yogis Freeze-Dried Yogurt & Fruit Snacks– You might be thinking that these are just for babies, but I assure you, they are not. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve said “Stop eating Zach’s yogurt puffs” to the husband. And I’ve been known to sneak a few myself.
- Sprout Organic Crispy Chews Toddler Snack
- Mamma Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack
- Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Bar, Twilight Delight 72% Cacao- For those of you who want to throw in just a little normal chocolate, this is a great option. Higher Cacao percentage, lower sugar, and very few ingredients.
Pick out a few of these, mix in a couple of inexpensive toys and an Easter book or two and you’ve got yourself an amazing toddler Easter basket. And it’ll be far healthier than the ones you remember from when you were a kid.
Enjoy some Sweetness
Everyone should be allowed to enjoy treats sometimes. We love to give them as a way to make our loved ones happy. We eat them ourselves to experience that little rush of sugary joy.
The key is having limits and doing it in the healthiest way we can. By filling your little guy’s (or lady’s) Easter basket with some of the above treats instead of the usual bags of jelly beans, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, or Cadbury Eggs, you’ll be helping your toddler to have some sweet treats that are a healthier alternative.
You can feel good knowing that you’re cultivating healthier habits and still enjoy making them a special, fun, toddler Easter basket. They’ll love it now, and thank you when they’re older.
Do you have any other healthy, fun treat ideas that would be great for a toddler Easter Basket?
-To your Better Life-