When it comes to chocolate, go dark. It contains nutritional benefits such as antioxidants and iron, whereas milk chocolate does not. “My kids will eat dark chocolate,” says Shapiro. “They don’t really know the difference, because the flavor was introduced at a young age.”
Mix chocolate with other things. “You consume less chocolate when you eat in conjunction with something else,” says Shapiro. “At any supermarket, you can find chocolate-covered strawberries,” or you can make chocolate-dipped bananas or dried apricots. Trader Joe’s sells chocolate-dipped almonds, which Shapiro says are a good option if nuts aren’t an issue for your children. She also likes making chocolate bark by melting 70% dark Valrhona chocolate discs, spreading it on parchment paper, and topping it with Goji berries, puffed quinoa, and sea salt. “It’s like a healthy Nestle Crunch.” Here’s a recipe to try from Food52.
There’s nothing wrong with carrot sticks. “Just because it’s an Easter basket doesn’t mean you should stay away from something truly healthy,” says Shapiro. “Plus carrots relate to what the Easter bunny eats.” So put some carrot and celery sticks in there!
Think about healthy egg-shaped items. “Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein, and you can naturally color them using beet juice or boiled cabbage,” Shapiro said. “Clementines, too, are kind of the shape of the egg — round and springy-colored — and don’t go bad quickly.” You can also try filling plastic eggs with mixed nuts or dried fruit. “Everybody loves to open up a little toy and see what’s inside.”
Incorporate some games. “An Easter basket doesn’t always have to be about food,” Shapiro said. Bubbles, Play-Doh, pastel-colored crayons, coloring books, and stickers “take up some space and makes it not just make it about eating.” You could even add a jump rope, a Slinky, or a bouncy ball, “things that get the kids actively moving so they wear off that sugar high!”
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