A Greener and Healthier Easter Basket

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If you’re like me, you always have good intentions and start thinking about things like getting Easter baskets together a month before Easter.  Here it is, though, just five short days before the big day, and I haven’t figured out exactly what we’ll put in the kids’ baskets this year.

I’m a little conflicted on this topic of Easter baskets.  While I’m not a fan of  lots of candy, I also don’t think it’s necessary to go out and buy numerous presents for Easter baskets.  The most important thing is to make sure whatever you get actually fits in the basket.  (Duh!)  Go from there.  What you get depends on how big your baskets are.  Since our oldest, Jadon, is 5 1/2 now, this year’s baskets will set the standard for what we do in the future.  Jadon is old enough now that he will remember exactly what he gets this year, so if we don’t do as much next year, he’ll be sure to point it out.

Here’s what I plan on doing this year; hopefully you’ll find something useful that you can try, too!

Reuse baskets

I actually still have the basket and grass  my parents got out for me every year for my entire childhood.   And, no, the grass wasn’t plastic 35 years ago!  It’s made out of some type of paper. I plan on doing the same thing with our kids.  It’s called “tradition.”  Each year I pull out the same baskets and the same annoying plastic grass.  I’m not going to throw away what we have just to turn around and make all natural baskets, but I will reuse what we’ve had for a few years now.  If you are not able or don’t want to go totally natural with your Easter baskets, there are some things you can do to make yours more eco-friendly.  Read on…

Buy products that use less packaging

When I was looking for candy the other night, I stayed away from anything with excessive packaging.  I bought some candy in bulk and will divvy it up between the three baskets.  You can wrap the candy up in napkins tied with raffia or twine.  I’ll probably also put some of that candy in those plastic eggs that we always accumulate the week before Easter.  We typically buy a bag of jellybeans and just sprinkle them on top of everything else in the basket–no extra packaging.

Small (and useful) gift

If you get a gift, make it something your child will actually use, and don’t wrap it.  Stickers are another good choice, as are books.  Try a package of seeds and a small gardening tool since it’s Spring, after all!  I’m not going to include much in the way of presents in the kids’ baskets, but I did find a package of egg-shaped sidewalk chalk.  I’m going to give each kid 2 eggs and that way there’s no extra packaging.  The kids will share the chalk anyway (we’ll make them!) so why buy each one their own package?

Healthy snacks

To make our baskets more healthy, I’m not overloading them with candy.  Instead, I’m going to include some snacky things like Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams and Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks.  Since Lucas is only 1 1/2 years old, his basket will have the healthy Annie’s treats plus some other baby snacks that I have in the cupboard.  He won’t get the candy his older brother and sister get (well, okay, maybe one or two pieces).

Don’t forget the chocolate…the darker the better!  Dark chocolate has lots of  flavanoids (antioxidants)!  Make sure your kids don’t drink milk with their dark chocolate Easter treats, though, because milk may interfere with how well their bodies absorb the chocolate’s antioxidants.  That’s why milk chocolate is not the way to go.

Starting From Scratch

What if you don’t have any materials to reuse for your Easter basket, you ask?  For the basket, definitely the easiest thing is to buy one rather than make one.  If you go that route, buy one that is made out of wood (i.e., willow) rather than plastic.  For the grass, you could shred your own colored paper or buy some that’s already shredded (a.k.a. basket filler).  Next year, I’d like to try to grow my own grass in the kids’ baskets a few weeks before Easter so they can have real grass!  But that takes forethought and planning, so we’ll see…

Please share your Easter Basket Ideas!  Leave us a comment.

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