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Too much candy? Easter basket alternatives

Easter baskets filled with fun, instead of calories

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With Easter fast-approaching, many of you might be trying to create the perfect Easter baskets for the children in your life. The first basket-filler is usually a bunch of candy bars, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies. If that's a special treat for your children, great! However, if you're looking to cut the calories, fat, and sugar, you might want to try some healthier alternatives.

Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She points out that a candy-filled Easter basket can lead to the consumption of more than twice the daily recommended sugar intake in just one sitting. She says school-aged children should have about 4 teaspoons a day of added sugar, but one solid, large chocolate bunny has 18 to 25 teaspoons of added sugar.

Plan a special theme

If you'd like to try a non-candy Easter basket, the first step is to pick a theme. Kimberly Gill and Ben Bailey of Local 4 recently showed off some creative options on Local 4's First at Four newscast.

For the Creative Child: If you know a child who is interested in cooking, you can create a basket around the theme of "Mini-Chef". You fill the basket with things like cookbooks, cooking utensils, an apron, and supplies to help cook the family a health meal. The basket can even include the pasta and sauce. If you just can't resist, you can even throw in a few pieces of candy!

For the Thinking Child: If you know a child who's quiet or shy, they might enjoy a basket of games and books. Think about loading it up with crossword puzzles, a Rubik's cube, coloring books or even board games. Or, you can fill the basket up with books for children who love to read.

For the Sports Fan: If you know a child who's crazy about sports, fill the basket with sports memorabilia, tickets to a game, or sporting equipment.

By the way, Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsors Tiger Kids' Opening Day on Sunday, April 9th. The first 15,000 kids will receive the Tigers' cheer cards and the first 8,000 will receive a full set of baseball cards of the entire 2017 Detroit Tigers lineup.

Of course, these are just three examples. You can build a non-candy Easter basket about any of your child's interests: animals, dinosaurs, Pokemon cards, and much more. They can have hours of fun, instead of scarfing down too many calories!


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