Easter is right around the corner (April 8), and if you’re like me, you are already planning on what the Easter Bunny will leave for your children this year. Whether you do the “Easter basket” gift, or the Easter Bunny hides eggs in your yard, there is a very serious subject you need to be aware of this Easter!

Is it ironic to anyone else that we celebrate holidays with our children by poisoning them? No really, think about it: Christmas- CANDY; Halloween- CANDY; Easter- CANDY; Birthday- CAKE and CANDY. These celebrations probably wouldn’t be a big deal if we didn’t also give them junk on all the other days. Children have learned that they should get some form of candy every day of the year, and they are getting it every where they turn.

While it makes sense to manage your children’s sugar and candy intake daily, should you really be concerned about the few holidays a year that bring an onslaught of candy? Well, if you think about it, the candy doesn’t last one day. As I write this, we still have Halloween candy in our house and it is March 1st. Every day I hear, “Can I have a piece of candy?” Every church activity our children have, they get 1-2 pieces of candy. When they get their hair cut- they get candy, not to mention junky snacks here and there. Many times, we are not even asked if they can HAVE the candy before it is handed to them. This has gotten out of control!

A couple of years ago, we recognized the candy craze and wanted to do what we could to keep it from our children’s Easter baskets. There are so many things you can give to your children besides candy! Our first goal was to provide things that they would need for spring or summer:
Sandals or flip flops, sand toys, bathing suit, goggles, jump rope, soccer ball, kite, beach ball, sidewalk chalk, children’s gardening tools, etc.

This not only saved us money, the kids didn’t even notice the absence of candy! If you will be buying these things for them at some point anyway, go ahead and stick it in the Easter basket. Not only will it make them excited about spring, it will get them active, which is always a great thing.

Other suggestions are hairbows, bouncy balls, toy puppets, and matchbox cars. You can see more ideas (including small items that fit inside Easter eggs) here. If you do want to have some candy in your children’s baskets, choose organic chocolate, or candy made from xylitol which actually helps prevent cavities.