My four year old son has an immediate reaction to sugar and dye. Minutes after eating foods containing these ingredients, he is jumping up and down and sometimes literally bouncing off the walls. In an effort to reduce the amount of Easter sugar consumed, (and to limit the temptation of myself and my husband to shove obscene amounts of it into our mouths during moments of stress) I tried to limit the candy and fill the baskets with other practical and earth friendly items. There will still be candy because I do not want to take all the joy out of the experience and because, even at thirty six years of age, I still crave eggs and jelly beans on Easter morning. However, this year I purchased single serving items rather than large bags so there would be minimal leftovers. I even found some of my son’s favorites in single serving size at a convenience store.
In addition to the lesser amount of candy, I purchased several earth friendly items that will be useful during the spring and summer months. A quick internet search for reusable items lists hundreds of products that are both convenient, money saving and eco friendly. Each child will receive a stainless steel mug and snack bowl for use in the car and on picnics. These will be exciting because they are a novelty, but they are also something the children will use frequently this summer during travel. They will cut down on waste by eliminating the use of paper cups and bowls on picnics.
Each child will get a bug themed reusable napkin and a reusable snack bag, space themed for the boys and bird themed for my bird loving daughter. Again, these are items we need for packing picnic lunches, but also a fun and cheerful addition to the Easter basket. These will eliminate the use of throwaway baggies and napkins.
I also purchased a packet of sunflower seeds for each child. Planting the seeds together and watching them grow will be an enriching and educational family experience to look forward to this summer.
Finally, I added a few other fun items that will add some excitement and fun on Easter morning. Each child will get a small toy that they have previously requested and several books that are suited to their age and taste. There are some coloring books, stickers and tattoos-lots of fun without lots of empty calories.
I think this year’s reductions and additions to the baskets will help us celebrate spring and prepare for summer without getting us all hopped up on sugar!
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