What do you include in a ‘healthy’ Easter basket for kids?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Sheila Poole is working on a story about healthy Easter baskets and she wants to know what you are including this year. You can email her your ideas at spoole@ajc.com.

I haven’t started this year on my baskets but usually try to give little gifts along with chocolates. I usually put in art supplies, DVDs, Legos and little dolls they wanted. One of my favorite Easter gifts when they were little was the bubble blowing fake lawnmower. It was so cute. Maybe this year I will include some lip glosses and nail polishes for Rose and hair accessories for Lilina.

What do you like to include in Easter baskets? Is it all candy or do you include little gifts as well?

51 comments Add your comment

beth

March 27th, 2013
1:39 am

I try to keep the candy at a minimum. Although we do use some candy and the “chocolate bunny”, we do far more small toys (bubbles, rubber snakes, playdough, card games etc) than candy. When I grew up, the basket was filled to the rim with ALL candy, but I just can’t bring myself to do that.

To be honest, I’m not really a fan of the Easter Basket idea anymore…. mostly because I spend too much time and money either filling them with junk food they don’t need or on a bunch of small trinket toys they don’t really need. It all seems excessive to me.

Katherine

March 27th, 2013
2:17 am

I always lined my boys’ baskets with a new bathing suit. I got tired of picking up the fake grass, and they always needed a new suit for spring. Try trail mix, toys and a book, and a small amount of candy.

gtmom

March 27th, 2013
5:51 am

I do the same as Katherine! My Easter basket is a spring basket full of sandals, sunglasses, sunscreen, bathing suit, hat, swim shirts. Sometimes a kite and bubbles. I have added art supplies along with real cool electric toothbrushes! It is a very expensive and a large basket but they are going to get these things anyway. They love their baskets. We still have Halloween candy so they would not be that impressed with candy.

Mother of 2

March 27th, 2013
6:24 am

Fruit and a jar of dipping chocolate, card games, small toys and a book. Have a nice Easter!

You folks...

March 27th, 2013
7:00 am

….take all the fun out of this event…

Mayhem

March 27th, 2013
7:18 am

My kids are in their 20’s but still get easter baskets. They don’t like a lot of candy, so I buy cheap silly stuff from the Dollar Store. And of course, got to have that chocolate bunny. My youngest tells me “No chocolate bunny”, but she still gets one anyway!!!

When they were younger, they got tons of candy, and we allowed them to eat it till they couldn’t eat anymore. Just like Halloween, Easter is a candy holiday.

This year my kids aren’t getting baskets, but they are each getting a bag or two of their favorite candy. The boy likes Sour Patch Kids, one girl likes Starburst Jellly Beans, and the other likes Chocolate covered almonds……And they each get a gift card to iTunes.

Maximus Desimus Meridius

March 27th, 2013
7:18 am

Agree with “you folks”…..people like Teresa have taken all relevant meaning out of Easter as the secular world has taken out of Christmas. Who cares about baskets, eggs, etc? How about going to church and then have Sunday brunch with family???

Mayhem

March 27th, 2013
7:40 am

We don’t do brunch, nor do we do church.

We will have breakfast just like every other Sunday.

xxx

March 27th, 2013
7:41 am

Maimus, I think you completely missed the point folks was trying to make. Folks was advocating for MORE candy and toys…and I concur. The bunny story is as real as the other one.

FCM

March 27th, 2013
7:44 am

Mine always did the egg hunt at church….they even helped fill eggs before hand! (Still do except now one is old enough to hide them and help a toddler find eggs). They loved it.

They always get Peeps & Chocolate Bunny in their basket. They got new clothes this year, each will get a book. Last year they got bad mitten/volleyball set.

Their father’s family does the candy to the brim basket…they even mail a bunch of candy to my kids. It usually got tossed out. I just don’t want them eating tons of candy. When we were married their Dad was surprised when I did not fill the basket with candy, but the Easter Bunny always brought my brother and some candy, and then some more lasting items.

My older one is getting baptized on Easter. Her Dad is coming up for that. It is the first time in years he will be here for Easter. He may well have a basket full of candy for them.

motherjanegoose

March 27th, 2013
7:57 am

@FCM…nice!

We did the candy thing with lots of eggs when mine were little. YEARS ago, I hid L’eggs eggs with coins in them. Anyone remember those?

I like Peeps but I do not like Jelly Beans. My husband got me some Peeps a few weeks ago.

We go to church, as a family, and then out to lunch.We attend church most every Sunday but I love Easter and holidays, when my kids come home and go with us. I hope it warms up as we like to take some outside pictures and my daughter has a new camera she is just breaking in. She is dabbling in photography, just for fun.

I enjoy it when my kids pursue interests that I am not good at. I learn from them!

bgb

March 27th, 2013
7:57 am

Jesus clearly wanted us to eat Peeps, search for eggs, and workship a bunny to celebrate easter.

FCM

March 27th, 2013
8:07 am

@ bgb I can break into a chorus of He Is Risen if it makes you feel better. Easter to those who do church has a meaning…but the secular one (the bunny) is fun too. I have no problem teaching my children both.

@ MJG…thank you for your kind words yesterday and today.

Metro Coach

March 27th, 2013
8:09 am

Good grief, you health Nazis need to get a grip. Candy is not going to kill your children or make them instantly fat. In fact, as a child, they probably burn off those candy calories playing.

Blue Fish in a Red Lake

March 27th, 2013
8:15 am

I go the route of less candy – though they do get SOME candy (A few Cadbury eggs and Peeps). We still have Halloween candy to work through. This year the “baskets” are bird cages and will have some DVDs and games and crafty things. We will decorate a dozen real eggs and hide some plastic ones.

FCM

March 27th, 2013
8:25 am

One year the “baskets” were watering cans. They loved them and still have them.

FCM

March 27th, 2013
8:26 am

@ Metro Coach…it has nothing to do with them getting fat or wanting a healthy basket. I put things in that last longer than candy because they last longer than candy!

Just a mom

March 27th, 2013
8:27 am

So the kids get candy for Easter. Big deal. Candy is part of an Easter basket. People are making every holiday an opportunity to go overboard with gifts. I like candy that fits in plastic eggs. I also put coins in some eggs. MAYBE a $1 bill, if I’m feeling especially generous. My kids in their 20s, and both are quite happy with candy and coins. (It’s the simple things.) My son is far away in college so I’ll probably also include a giftcard to a local restaurant so he doesn’t starve to death (his words). Lastly, each child gets a toothbrush and toothpaste, because when I didn’t put a toothbrush in their basket (or stocking at Christmas) they thought I was sick.

jarvis

March 27th, 2013
8:36 am

Booze. Since they aren’t 21, I drink it.

motherjanegoose

March 27th, 2013
8:42 am

@ Just HAHA…once, I put some cute underpants in my daughter’s stocking, with a character on them. She was about 7 or 8. She was MAD at me and said that is not a Christmas gift!

My son is not much of a candy eater. We have candy here, that he has left from previous holidays.

I agree with the overboard with gifts. We are eating out at a brunch that will be almost $40 per person with a tip. I want to leave a good tip for those who work on Easter, so I do not have to cook. My sister will join us and so I am wondering what we need to do for gifts. Is that a gift? I would rather pay $$$ than shop, cook and clean up here plus they also have some yummy things I would not fix: oysters, prime rib and eggs benedict. We used to drive to the Blue Willow Inn but with gas so high, Social Circle is too far.

Mayhem

March 27th, 2013
8:52 am

Back when my kids and my nieces were little, we had a HUGE FAMILY gathering on Easter. My Sister in law and her mother would cook a feast for all of us.

But what I miss the most, is the Easter Egg Hunts we used to do…We would have dozens of plastic eggs hidden all over the yard, and each kid had a “golden” egg with their name on it. If you found someone else’s egg, you were NOT supposed to tell them where it was. We still laugh at the pictures. We would line the kids up by height inside the front door, all the parents would be outside with cameras ready. Once that door opened, chaos reigned. One year, we sent 20 kids on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. Fun times, now memories…..

camille

March 27th, 2013
9:27 am

I never thought healthy and Easter basket would end up in the same sentence….

DB

March 27th, 2013
9:33 am

Easter baskets always had a new beach towel, a small puzzle, and things like a Beanie Baby, bubbles or some other small, fun thing. I do one for both kids AND my husband, and he does a small one for me, mostly peeps, jelly beans and a Cadbury caramel egg. “Healthy” Easter? Pfft! I love Peeps (they MUST be yellow, and they MUST be chicks — none of these weird blue bunnies!) Now that both will be elsewhere for Easter, they get care packages — I take a small Priority Mail box, line it with grass, and include their favorite candies, and a gift card to a local chain restaurant.

We used to enjoy dying Easter eggs — we’d experiment each year to get them just the right blue or pink. We also loved Easter egg hunts — soo much fun! We would fill the eggs with pennies, with the occasional quarter, and a few with the gold dollar coins. Easter brunch after the sunrise service was usually an extended family affair, with all the little one chasing eggs.

FCM

March 27th, 2013
9:55 am

Actually I have not read one comment where they said no candy. We all seem to agree that candy is a part of it. Why does it matter if some want to limit the amount and others want a full sugar coma basket?

There is no single right way to do a holiday or parenting.

oneofeach4me

March 27th, 2013
9:58 am

My kids usually get different things each year. I will put a book, bubbles, kites, pads, pens, and some sort of toy, but I also put plastic eggs with candy in them and some with coins in them. Those are the ones they hide.

As far as candy, one like the Lindt Lindor chocolates so she gets a bag of those, and the other one likes the Ferrero Rocher hazelnut truffles so he gets those. I also put in some candy like pixie sticks and sour patch kids.

My kids eat healthy pretty much every day of the week, therefore, candy is a treat for them reserved for things like… Halloween and EASTER! :)

oneofeach4me

March 27th, 2013
10:03 am

Oh, I forgot I do put something a little healthy in there.. my kids also love the kids Cliff bars so I give each of them two of those and I also get a bag of those dark chocolate covered pomegranate pieces and divide it up (that is after I get my fill).

Just Me Thinking...

March 27th, 2013
10:06 am

Easter egg hunts are the best! My daughter is an only child, so we hide just enough eggs for a fun time. Not always filled with candy. Usually small things she likes like stickers and erasers. She loves coloring the eggs. We just put them in the fridge and eat them as part of breakfast for the next few days. She does know the religious aspect of Easter,we just dont always go to church on Easter. On Easter and Christmas it’s like they are giving away free money at church. It’s always packed.

motherjanegoose

March 27th, 2013
10:15 am

@ Just…some churches call these C and E Christians. They show up on Christmas and Easter. I would like to see my children more often than that and I think God probably feels the same way about HIs children. Although, two times per year is better than never IMHO.

Mayhem

March 27th, 2013
10:16 am

@Justme Thinking….my daughter calls it CEO Holidays. Christmas & Easter Only…..

irisheyes

March 27th, 2013
10:21 am

They all need new Bibles, so that’s what they’re getting this year along with a few treats. For our egg hunt, I put eggs out with money in them (I’ve never seen kids so excited about an egg full of pennies and nickels) or little coupons to stay up late, or pick a movie, or choose what’s for dinner. They loved it last year, so we’ll do that again.

Balfour

March 27th, 2013
10:24 am

I put in on a little bit of candy, so I make sure it’s good stuff. Our favorites are Reese’s peanut butter eggs, Skittles, and a hollow bunny. A couple of years ago, one daughter wrote a note to the EB telling him that she prefers hollow to solid, so he tries to comply! They always get a book in there and then the rest varies from year to year. Could be hair things, bubbles, crayons or markers, etc. I prefer not to buy trinket-type toys that just end of making a mess and getting thrown away. This year (age 10) they’re getting a book, a decorated tumbler filled with jelly beans, and a character themed flash drive.

Georgia

March 27th, 2013
10:30 am

My parents learned early-on not to have Easter Egg hunts in our back yard. My brothers and sisters would get so sugar-rowdy, that it just wasn’t safe for any cop car to drive past our house without getting pelted with hard boiled eggs. We’d have these contests to see who could go the longest between M&Ms, (my little sister with 47 seconds; a record set in 1963). Today, at 62, my teeth are all rotten from the candy we ate at Easter and halloween and xmas and groundhog day, (my favorite holiday). And now my blood sugar is between syrup and cotton candy. But, I do have this sugar high I’ve been nursing along since the fifth grade…..Oh, the colors……

But Happy Easter anyway.

Scooby

March 27th, 2013
11:39 am

With the possibility of rain Sunday, I was thinking of getting a bunch of the thin glowsticks that I can put in eggs and having an egg hunt Saturday night. Since ours are 25 and 27 we put some candy, money and scratch offs in the eggs. And of course each gets a chocolate bunny.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 27th, 2013
12:04 pm

I love, love, love the bathing suit summer stuff idea — i have never done bathing suits and they do all need them — what a great idea — I am totally stealing that.

We will do church several times over the next few days. I definitely think you can give little baskets of treats and still be focused on Jesus’s resurrection. I do not think these ideas are mutually exclusive.

jmb

March 27th, 2013
12:17 pm

I do the bathing suits, beach towel thing too. My grown girls love cutsie flip flops so they always get a pair or two of those. And of course, their favorite candys and few lottery tickets. My daughters stationed at Ft. Bragg so I’ll send her a care package with it all in it. We just found out she’s expecting so I’ll probably throw in few baby things in hers. Now for my 7 mth. old grandson, I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Most likely will get some kind of light up toy since he’s starting to get into them now but no candy for him :(

FCM

March 27th, 2013
12:17 pm

TWG a tree and trimmings does not take away from His birth and a basket of goodies before or after church is not going to take away from His resurrection. In fact, I am pretty sure thata basket of dog treats will be at our house too. I know for sure my Mom’s dogs get a basket of treats from the bunny.

The kids have asked why I go with them to get clothes that show up in the Easter Basket. I pointed out the dog barks and scares off the rabbits that already live by my house (saw one this morning) so the Easter Bunny figures it is better to just let me know what to do and help him out. This year I told them that the bunny is busy hiding eggs for littler kids and I said I would help out. I don’t think they actually believe in EB (or Santa) anymore, but is fun for all of us to pretend they do.

FCM

March 27th, 2013
12:21 pm

@ Jmb….they have those stuffed bunnies, or rubbery ones….I recall 7 months is teething time

sam

March 27th, 2013
12:25 pm

Hey, you are only a kid once. We need to let our kids be kids, and Easter and Halloween are candy times. I used to let my kids have candy on these holidays, eat until they were sick, and then it was over. I didn’t ration the candy. Best way to get rid of it fast. My kids got swimsuits and clothing when they needed them. They weren’t “treats”.

jmb

March 27th, 2013
12:26 pm

If anyones got any ideas on the baby Easter basket feel free to throw them out there.

jmb

March 27th, 2013
12:31 pm

Thanks FCM, I’m going to go and get a few more things today and hopefully something will catch my eye. I’m hoping my grumpy daughter-n-law will let my 4 yr old granddaughter have the candy this year. Last year we gave her a basket full of candy & toys and she wouldn’t let her have anything but the toys & clothes. She said the candy would make her hyper SMH. Not fun when you have a 3 yr. old little girl crying for the candy so I’m going to check with her first this year.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 27th, 2013
1:03 pm

New blog up — based on FCM’s thoughts from yesterday — see what you think

Real Life

March 27th, 2013
1:09 pm

No healthy baskets here. Any children visiting us for Easter get a traditional basket with candy and a stuffed toy of some sort. Baskets are small, portions are small and rationed out. Any candy the kids don’t care for goes to adults at home or at work. Moderation is the key–and a small basket with candy will not distract from the religious importance of the day. Get rid of the overthinking and let the kids enjoy childhood with all the fun stuff that goes along with it. It will make them healthier in the long run.

Brandt Hardin

March 27th, 2013
1:17 pm

We must remember the true meaning of the Easter holiday and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oschter Haws (the original name for the Easter Bunny) is a fictitious embodiment of all that is unholy with American gluttony for chocolate, candy, eggs and all things savory and sinful. See the Good Lord RISE from his grave and RECLAIM our sacred holiday with the Hammer of God at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/oschter-haws-easter-tale-of-calamity.html

Becky

March 27th, 2013
2:02 pm

No rations on the candy here either..No worries about them eating all of it in one day..I just threw out candy that the girl had left from Halloween.. :) The “healthy” that they get will be eating some of the eggs after they find them..

They have both said that they do not want a basket this year..I’m going to buy them metal buckets and inside they will get candy, gift card and she will get a DS game, not sure what else the boy is getting..

@jmb..I have a great, great niece (9 months) and for her basket I am getting her a rattle and maybe a couple of teething rings..Nothing major as everyone says, what does she really need..She got her first Cabbage Patch couple weeks ago..It’s a small rabbit.. I might get her a pair of earrings, as I think her Mom may get her ears pierced within the next few months..

K's Mom

March 27th, 2013
6:12 pm

@TWG, thank you for this great column! My 10 month old has had a double ear infection for the past 6 weeks and Easter baskets have been the last thing on my brain since I think we are headed for tubes. I am going to do swims suits, summer pjs, a coloring book for K and some orbit labels for L. Each will get a chocolate bunny and that is probably all the candy we will get them since the 2 egg hunts we will go to will be candythons.

K's Mom

March 27th, 2013
6:18 pm

@jmb…ideas for a baby easter basket have been on my brain too. Here is what I came up with:

Orbit labels for cups and bottles (inchbug.com)
Cute spoons and forks
The boo boo pals freezer ice paks
Sunglasses with a strap to stay on.
Flip flops
Cute pjs
Rattles
Bunny lovey blanket
Socks
Baby mum mums

Some of that may sound boring, but L cannot have candy because he still does not have a tooth in his head. So I decided to get him some of the more fun things he needs!

jmb

March 28th, 2013
11:31 am

Thanks Becky & K’s mom. I picked up some small toys yesterday and a couple onesies. I also got him a sippy cup. I like the labels idea K’s mom. About to check it out.

Shrimping Man

March 28th, 2013
1:45 pm

We don’t do baskets. I make an Easter table and its all candy and chocolate buried in artificial grass. I did find some sugar free jellybeans this year, though.

K's Mom

March 28th, 2013
2:52 pm

The labels may not get to you in time (did not think about that yesterday), but they are worth the investment. A friend’s child is still using his on his non disposable water bottles for school in the 3rd grade. So it may be a good birthday gift or stocking stuffer later on!

catlady

March 28th, 2013
4:53 pm

Although I did put candy eggs out, they were the marshmallow ones individually wrapped, I never told my daughter that they were edible! She discovered that you can eat them when she was six. I just threw them away. My kids got toys in their baskets, like stuffed animals. No need for that much candy!