When Easter Morning rolls around, its common for parents to have a bit of impending dread about the sugar coma they know is to come a few hours later. Easter breakfast is often preceded by an intense amount of peanut butter filled chocolate and jelly beans – and that's just the appetizers! Anyone who claims that sugar does not hype up their kids must live in an alternate universe. Easter morning becomes a bit like watching bouncy balls spring from one wall to the other when any of them pop sugary treats into their mouths. Here are some great reasons to think outside the candy box for Easter egg stuffers, as well as 12 alternatives to candy to get you started
Reasons to Ditch the Sugar
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting the total intake of discretionary calories, yet children and adolescents in America obtain about 16% of their total caloric intake from added sugars alone. All hope is not lost though a recent study found that children could recover from the effects of sugar in as little as 10 days. By limiting sugars in their diet over the course of the study, all of the children dramatically reduced their risk of diabetes as their blood sugars and insulin levels normalized and their LDL bad cholesterol all dropped by 5 points. Its never too late to start kicking the sugar addiction!
Try to be pretty conservative in the sugar department in your family. I used to be extremely overweight, tipping the scales at a whopping 436 pounds only a few years ago! I underwent what I would call a life-saving gastric bypass surgery and now happily fall into what I joke of as regular fat in the overweight category on the BMI chart, instead of morbidly obese or even obese. As a result, my wife, who suffers from more than one chronic illness, and I are very particular about how we are training the little minds of our 12, 10, and 7-year-old children to think about food and healthy choices vs. over-indulging.
Non-Candy Easter Egg Stuffers
No one wants to be the Easter Grinch, though! I mean, I know that guy was mainly concerned about Christmas but I feel like the Who's in Whoville probably put up a ruckus around Easter too that he would have not appreciated! That said, there are plenty of other ways to keep your kids happy with Easter egg stuffers that are not of the sugar variety and also maintain your status as a cool Easter Bunny as well.
- Tiny Toys:
Shop around the party section for Easter egg stuffer type toys. Koosh balls, unicorns, mermaids, textured bouncy balls, finger puppets, scented dough, and whatever the heck those round-popper-things-that-jump-up-and-scare-me-every-time are, make easy egg-stuffers and will entertain kids for far longer than you think.
- Pool Sets:
We live in a neighborhood with a community pool and the grumpy people that run it do not allow floats in it at all. I know – the outrage! Alas, this leaves diving sticks and other options for us to bring along for entertainment but an awesome Treasure Chest Pool Diving Game should be fun, and a little more challenging for older kids. It contains little coins and even some giant gems that I know all kids will have fun digging up from the bottom of the pool.
- Grow Kits:
Lets face it, people suggest seed packets all the time as Easter egg stuffers and I have fallen victim to this suggestion many a time only to have them rot in a drawer somewhere or spill out all across the bathroom floor. That said, with Spring around the corner, it would be great to grow a little something with your kiddos and grow kits make it fool-proof, even for this step-mom with a black thumb.
- Mini Deodorants:
Deodorant isn't usually a fun present, but the new Secret Freshies are adorable, come in some amazing scents, and are only a little bit larger than a lip balm. Perfect for stuffing in a backpack or the giant hot-dog shaped purse our 10-year-old begs for every time we enter a Claire's.
- Earring Sets:
Earring sets are super adorable as Easter egg stuffers and can feature everything from unicorns to pineapples and everything in between. They will be lost in a matter of weeks, months if you’re lucky, but they provide a lot of cuteness in the meantime.
- Hair Accessories:
These often come in multi-packs, leaving great options to stuff multiple eggs with cute barrettes, headbands, and clips that are bright and festive for the holiday.
- Nail Polish and Nail Sets:
Pastel colors are on sale for Easter at most retail locations and they slip perfectly into almost any size egg. The nail sets are going to be a struggle to fit into an egg while still in the box, but just slip them out of it and it should fit in just fine.
- Mini Figures and Blind Bags:
Our 7-year-old son is really into Superheroes and Power Rangers at the moment and is always having them battle. These tiny versions are easy to pack in a purse for quick entertaining on the go and there are plenty of options for other types of figures in a variety of age appropriate items depending on your child's whim of the moment.
Easily a favorite for our oldest, she is super into stacking bracelets of all sizes and a fun, whimsical set works great alone or with other sets.
These came in Spring flavors like Cotton Candy and Peaches & Cream and would be great for anyone to pop into a backpack or purse for school after Easter.
- Fake Moustaches:
These seem silly, I know, but your Instagram account will thank me because we have 100% taken three kids to dinner rocking these much to the amusement of every employee at the restaurant. They loved the different varieties and we all got a great giggle out of the whole occasion.
- Mini Erasers:
You know your kids have already lost the 65 of these you had to purchase back at the beginning of the school year. Why not re-stock with Easter themed carrot-shaped ones and fill your eggs while you're at it?
Now that you are all set with your Easter basket shopping, here are our favorite Easter Clothing Finds.
Photo Credits: Jenn Elston