Spring is here, and that means there is no shortage of sugary, candy-coated eggs and chocolate bunnies lining the store shelves. However, these sweet treats are best given to kids (and adults!) in moderation to avoid empty calories, potential cavities, and unhealthy blood sugar levels. Fortunately, there are many healthy ways to still have fun and celebrate the Easter season!
Alternative Easter Egg Fillers While kids may be used to receiving plastic eggs traditionally filled with candy, trade in the sugar with small treats like stickers, a small stuffed toy, a hair accessory, a finger puppet or colorful erasers. For older kids and tweens who still enjoy receiving Easter goodies, include a colorful bottle of nail polish, a gift certificate or money. This is also a great small gift for a teacher. To make lunch time extra special, plastic eggs can also be used as containers for small foods. Mini carrots, nuts, cherry tomatoes, dried fruit like raisins or trail mix are tasty filler options.
Stick to Dark Chocolate Treats An Easter basket wouldn’t be complete with at least a little bit of chocolate! Opt for dark instead of milk, which is full of flavonoids and antioxidants, to help the body’s cells resist environmental free radicals. Flavanols in dark chocolate can even help improve blood flow to the brain and heart, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A dark chocolate bar with 70-80% cocoa has fiber and many minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, according to Authority Nutrition.
Natural Food Dyes for Coloring Eggs Coloring eggs has long been a favorite Easter pastime. This year, opt for natural colorants to dye hard-boiled eggs. Simmer beets for intense red color, or shorten simmer time for pink. For green and orange, use a blender to liquefy spinach and carrots. Be creative—like vibrant blueberries for deep blue, turmeric for yellow and purple cabbage for a violet shade of purple. To avoid staining your hands, use a whisk to dip eggs into the natural dyes, then set to dry in an old egg carton.
Easy Peel Idea for Hard-Boiled Eggs For easier peeling of eggs, simply add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to cold water before boiling.
Cheerful Flower-Filled Umbrella Decoration April showers bring May flowers, goes the old saying! Add a little festive Easter embellishment to the front door with a simple umbrella bouquet. Use seasonal flowers like pink tulips or daffodils, and arrange stems inside a colorful umbrella. With a built-in handle, hook right onto the door knocker or attach with some wire for a welcome burst of color.