Filling Easter Baskets or Your Tummy?

They're everywhere. Cadbury Eggs. Hershey chocolate eggs wrapped in foil. Malted milk eggs. Jelly beans. And, the big, solid chocolate bunnies that hop into your grocery cart, all by themselves, when you're not even looking...(I know they do that.) Instead of making your Easter Baskets overflow with candy, perhaps it's time to think of a few alternatives. Recently, JAMA reported a major study telling us that obesity in 2-5 year olds has declined 40 percent over 8 years in most states---fantastic news! Let's keep going with this positive trend;  it isn't a good reason to deliver a mother-lode of candy. Especially, if you're the one who ends up eating most of the candy and re-buying it a number of times before Easter.

I'm not suggesting a candy-free basket. Can we just go for less? Start by filling each basket with fun, age-appropriate, non-edible toys that may even promote a bit of movement: balls (tennis, golf, basketball, stress ball, colorful play ball,) Frisbees, yo-yo's, kites, bubble stuff,  iTunes gift cards, books, magazines, stuffed animals, or games.  At this point, you can add your well chosen candy, nuts, dried fruits, granola bars, popcorn, coffee, tea, or gum.

Great idea from Denise F. who plans to fill mini-cellophane bags with dried fruits and nuts for her husband's and mom in law''s baskets. They still get the one designer chocolate egg, but the rest of the baskets are going healthier this year. Gotta love it!

Peter Rabbit needs to be upping the carrots and watching his chocolate intake too, or he just may turn into a chocolate rabbit himself!