Ah, the joys of Easter time. The family get-togethers, the class parties, the sudden invitations to “bring a little something” for the kids at Sunday school. So many opportunities to demonstrate your creativity. While we look forward to those sweet treats each year, Easter is also a great opportunity to substitute healthier options as a little break from all the store-bought candy. Are we right moms?! Here are a few easy, adorable Easter treats to add to your repertoire.
No Stick, Just Carrot
Your kids are less likely to miss the sugar if you distract them with fun visuals. Anything bunny-oriented is fair game at Easter, and disposable cake decorating bags make great jumbo carrots. All you need is a bag for each kid, and a crunchy orange snack to fill it. Complete the resemblance by tying up the end with green ribbon or a green paper streamer to make the carrot’s top, and then nestling one into each child’s Easter basket. They’ll be too busy admiring their oversized treats to notice the utter lack of candy.
Any sort of orange cheese ball or golden-colored cracker makes a good filling for the carrot, so go with what works for you. If you have a really good homemade cheese-cracker recipe, feel free to use it (we’ll be in awe), or stick with your favorite store-bought option.
Make ‘Em Pop
You probably already have a supply of plastic eggs to fill with treats, but we’ve got a fun new way you can use them. For example, those same plastic eggs make a perfect mold for healthy frozen treats. Make them up ahead of time, and awe your kids by serving them as their Easter dessert or a party treat. Use a spanking-new nail (so it’s clean) to tap a hole through the bottom of your egg so you can insert a lollipop stick. You’ll need a second, smaller hole as a vent so you can fill them properly. Prepare five or six eggs at a time and then stand them in an egg carton — what else? — with the holes facing up.
Fill the eggs with real fruit juice for a quick freezer pop. For a more interesting option, stir 1 part plain or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt into 2 parts applesauce or other fruit puree. Sweeten it lightly with honey or agave and use the mixture to fill the eggs. The hole in the egg should be just large enough for the lollipop stick, so squeeze the filling through a small funnel, a basting syringe or even a plastic bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner. Push the lollipop sticks through the holes and freeze the eggs. When they’re ready, serve them in a cute Easter tub lined with paper or cellophane “grass.”
A Cozy Nest
Whoever invented candy grass for lining Easter baskets was a genius — and probably a kid with a parent in the candy business. Everything else in the basket is a treat, so why not? The only way it gets better is if you could eat the basket and all. That’s going to take some thought, but in the meantime you can always give some eggs “nests.” That one’s easy. All you need are cupcakes and frosting, some shredded coconut and a stash of mini Easter egg candies.
Bake or buy your favorite cupcakes and spread a modest rim of frosting around the edge of each cupcake. You can level the tops if you like, but that part’s optional. Next, press toasted coconut into the frosting to create the twig-like edges of your nest. Sprinkle a bit more coconut into the middle of the nest to complete the resemblance and nestle two to four eggs into each one. Arrange the finished nests in a colorful Easter basket and watch the kids’ eyes light up when you set them out.
Mix It Up
Setting out just the right balance of sweet treats and salty, crunchy nibbles is always a challenge. Unless, of course, you mix them up ahead of time. Creating your own Easter-themed snack mix is a breeze, and you can easily make healthier but still kid-friendly options. For the salty, savory base of your mixture, look for whole-grain bunny- or bird-shaped crackers. Add low-fat pretzel sticks for their different crunch. If you can find those in Easter-appropriate shapes as well, that’s even better.
A few colorful candies are always an appropriate part of the mix, but you won’t need to use many. Instead, look for healthy treats that have the right look. Yogurt-covered raisins or dried berries are a perfect example. So are pistachios, which are vaguely egg-shaped and naturally green. Toss your add-ins together with the salty, crunchy crackers in a large bowl, then divide the snack mix into portions. For bonus points, fill colorful Easter treat jars.with your snack mix to make party gifts for each child.
Share Your Easter Magic
What are some of your favorite ways to fill up those Easter baskets? Do you stick to candy and treats or do you include toys, trinkets or maybe something sentimental too? We love hearing how you make things special for your family. Share in the comments!