Spring has come and Easter is just around the corner. We know that vacation is always a problem if you try to stay fit and eat healthy. For this reason, we have developed a variety of creative and healthy Easter basket ideas that will keep you up to date.
Two-thirds of American households will wake up on Easter morning to find that the Easter Bunny has left a huge basket of goodies for every child – and even for some adults. According to the National Confectioners Association, the trade organization that promotes the confectionery industry, most of these baskets will be filled with chocolate bunnies and eggs (55%), with a scatter of gummy bears, candy-coated eggs, and marshmallow candies.
Your Easter gift can easily result in thousands of calories of candy concentrated in a small nest made of plastic grass. Consider the following: A 16-ounce solid chocolate bunny can contain 1,000 calories or more, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Yikes!
There are many ways to ensure that you and your family can enjoy a healthy Easter vacation. Stop worrying that a seasonal sugar boost will frustrate your weight loss success or lead you all on a very unhealthy chocolate bunny trail. Here are just a few ideas to create a healthy Easter basket.
Use these five creative ideas to put together the perfect, healthy Easter basket:
1. Give fun and adventure a gift certificate.
Your kids won't mind a scaled-down Easter basket if their primary Easter gift is a trip to the zoo, a visit to their favorite museum, or an adventure day in an indoor (or outdoor) water park or in a natural area. The gift of memories and experiences instead of material objects is the gift that is given again and again. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that giving "experience gifts" to your children can help build a stronger parent-child relationship than material gifts. The relationship improvements "result from the intensity of the emotions that arise when they consume the gifts rather than when the gifts are received," the researchers explain.
2. Think of toys, not treats.
Consider giving children non-edible goodies like bubbles, dragons, jump ropes, jacks, craft kits, or games along with a modest amount of candy – things everyone in the family can enjoy together. Many of these non-edible treats can be enjoyed outdoors and will help you and your loved ones stay active while enjoying Mother Nature this spring! You can also fill plastic Easter eggs with stickers, slime, coins, dollar bills, stamps, colorful bracelets, friendship bracelets, glow sticks, marbles, erasers and fake tattoos. Many of these items are available in your local dollar store, party shop, or online.
3. Look for sugar-free options.
In order to create a healthy Easter basket for adults for yourself, your spouse or your colleagues, you should stock up on guilt-free sweets. Some of the largest confectioners offer options for those who need to avoid or reduce their sugar intake. Today there is everything from chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks to sugar-free gummy bears and gums. There are even some sweets sweetened with stevia that are available online and in stores. These sweeten your healthy Easter basket and keep you up to date with your weight loss diet plan.
4. Choose healthier treats.
Half the fun of Easter is coloring real, hard-boiled Easter eggs. A big egg has about 78 calories and is full of satisfactory proteins, heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals, the USDA says. According to Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California, "a study suggests that eggs raise no cholesterol at all in about 70% of people." They also explain that eggs increase the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as good cholesterol, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This makes them a great, healthy and colorful treat for Easter baskets. If you have concerns about your cholesterol level, talk to your doctor before eating eggs or changing your diet.
Since there must also be chocolate in a healthy Easter basket, skip a few chocolate bunnies and replace a healthier alternative. Try making some strawberries dipped in stevia-sweetened chocolate or mini whole-grain pretzels with a layer of white chocolate. Practice the right portion size and moderation by preparing simple fruit kebabs with a marshmallow chick.
5. Make your own sweets.
t creative in the kitchen? Let The Leaf and Nutrisystem Help! After all, one of our main goals is to create healthier versions of all of your favorite foods. Go to the kitchen and create these five healthy Easter treats for a dietary Easter basket:
1. Grasshopper chocolate bar>
You can easily buy rice cereal treats bought in the store. However, you won't be as healthy as the ones you open yourself. These minty, chocolate bars use four cups of rice cereal, two cups of mini marshmallows, two tablespoons of mini chocolate chips, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, a little light butter, and a little peppermint extract to make a delicious treat that counts as two extras in the Nutrisystem Plan.
2. Chocolate Pecan Caramel Bites>
NutriChocolates are the basis for this healthier intake of pecan turtles. There are only two ingredients left – pecans and caramel chewing – so they're easier than cakes. Each bite has 95 calories and counts as three extras in the Nutrisystem plan.
3. Peanut butter cup>
You and your family will not miss this "other" peanut butter cup if you try it. All you need are three simple ingredients – chocolate chips, peanut butter, and coconut oil – to make a healthy candy that will come in handy on this vacation. One serving counts as just one PowerFuel and two extras on Nutrisystem.
4. Chocolate peanut butter crunch bars >
Avoid temptations with a healthy candy bar made from healthy ingredients. Oats, peanuts, peanut butter, dates and a few balls a Vanilla Nutrisystem Shake Mix Create this satisfying Easter treat. To make the recipe even more festive, you can shape your bars like eggs! One serving counts as a PowerFuel and a SmartCarb.
5. Chocolate peanut butter fudge >
This confection has the smooth, creamy texture of normal fudge, but less calories, fat and guilt. It's also so easy to do! Melt peanut butter until it's warm and thin, then pour in a little NutriChocolates and almond milk. Stir, let the mixture cool and pour it into an ice cube tray that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Throw it in the freezer until it's solid, and then eat! Each piece has only 116 calories and counts as a PowerFuel and an extra.
Discover The Leaf and discover more delicious and healthier dessert recipes. Check out our Biscuit dough Easter eggs covered with chocolate for an irresistible diet this spring!