Hop this way for healthier Easter basket ideas!  Celebrating holidays synonymous with novelty foods with your family can bring it's set of challenges. Dietitian Nutritionist, Nicole Moretta, offers us some practical tips to enjoy ourselves this Easter and also promote healthy lifestyle habits for ourselves and our family.

Healthier Easter Basket Ideas

My #1 tip for making your Easter basket a little healthier but still keeping some of the traditional chocolate is...

fill the basket with items that will help you and your loved one create memories! 

You can play it safe with with outdoor toys like chalk, water toys, bubbles and jump ropes.  Get personal!  What does your family enjoy doing together?  My family spends a lot of time in the water, so our Easter bunny will include things like bathing suits, goggles, water shoes, and beach towels to get us excited for summer days together!

Keep it traditional with an Easter chocolate and sweet treat as well!  We need to have a healthy relationship with food.  All food!  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Having a healthy relationship with food is important for our mental health.  Holidays, like Easter, come with their share of fun novelty foods, and it's a good opportunity to model healthy food habits for yourself and your family.

Here’s my recommendations for enjoying holidays AND the food, without having a negative impact on our mental health:

  • Pick your favorites –  Easter in the United States brings us candy like, Peeps, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses - but that doesn’t mean you have to eat all of them.  Sure you and your family might want to, but you don’t need to!  Pick the novelty treat that really means something to you.  It’s about balance and progress not perfection.  Sit down, eat it, enjoy it, maybe take a selfie with it and move on.
  • Incorporate healthy snacks – Include some healthy snacks amongst a sweet treat or gift in Easter baskets.  Maybe a healthy food from the Easter bunny will be received more openly by your child than from mom or dad.  Going to an Easter gathering?  Don’t go hungry!  Munch on some healthy snacks to fuel you up before you're faced with sugary sweets and novelty foods.  Have some cool refreshing fruits and vegetables with a little protein to help give you a vitamin boost and curb your appetite just enough to prevent you from going for ALL the unhealthy foods.
  • Stay hydrated – Staying hydrated with water is an important part of keeping our health & wellbeing.  Maybe the Easter bunny could include a fun kids size reusable water bottle to encourage your child to drink water throughout the day!
  • Enjoy your company and scenery – It’s easy to make some holidays all about food.  In fact, some of them ARE all about food.  But, it’s important to remember that this is a great opportunity to work on communication and strengthen your relationship with the people that are with you at that moment.  Be present and make new memories!  If the weather is nice, go outside for a walk or Easter egg hunt!  Notice any new flowers and plants that may be springing up in your yard or neighborhood.  What bird sounds do you notice?  Enjoy your surroundings, take some photos, smell the fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun.   Spring brings so much life and growth to our scenery, so make sure to take some time to enjoy it!

 

- Nicole Moretta, MS, RD, CDN

 


 Related Resources:

 

Buffalo Outdoor Activities

Looking for ideas activities to do with your family to create memories? Try a new outdoor activity!  From hiking to birdwatching to kayaking, WNY offers so much family fun opportunities!

EWG Candy Food Scores

Including some sweet treat with your memory making Easter gifts?  EWG's Food Scores tool identifies ingredient concerns in foods such as pesticides, food additives, contaminants, and antibiotics matter too.  It also informs users of processing concerns in processed foods. 

Family Fun from the Library

To books and beyond, libraries offer us so much education and fun!  Our local library, the Orchard Park Public Library, offers things like badminton sets, ukuleles and a corn hole toss sets for reservation!  Another great reminder that making memories and connecting with your family doesn't have to include spending a lot of money.

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