Thursday, March 8, 2012

How To Pack a Low-Sugar Easter Basket

The branches on our nature table are blooming!
 Spring is here, and when I smell that fresh clean air, my mind begins to wander. I remember all those things that made this season special as a child. I remember muddy toes in the creek out back, saying goodbye to that horrible pink puffy hand-me-down coat, new dresses for Easter, and trying on my white Sunday shoes to see if they fit (if I liked them, they were too small; if I hated them, they fit perfectly).

Easter was always fun because my mom used to decorate the house and make the holiday extra special with crafts like dyeing eggs and decorating cookies and our Easter baskets. Our Easter baskets were always loaded with candy. Chocolate, Peeps, mini candy bars, robin's eggs, and more! I remember it fondly, and I want to give similarly joyful memories to my children. We try to eat whole, God-made foods and limit our intake of refined sugar, so this makes the holidays a little bit trickier. 

I try to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time we eat really well, and 20% of the time it's ok to indulge or compromise. Last year that meant having all the processed sugar in the Easter basket, just in smaller quantities. But Husband and I have found that sugar is tough on little Jack's system and he doesn't handle it well. If he has  too much then we deal with the effects for several days. I want him to be able to enjoy the special treats that his grandparents will give him without pushing him off the edge. With that in mind I have been thinking and planning his Easter basket and I thought I would share what I've come up with.

Each holiday is more fun for kids when the atmosphere in the home reflects the joy and anticipation of the day. See my post about decorating on a budget.

How to Pack a Low-Sugar Easter Basket

Make the Sweets at Home - Make cookies together using ingredients you are comfortable with. Bring them with you to share if you are going to someone's house for dinner. Jack is going to be so pleased to share "his" cookies.

Choose One Special Treat - I haven't decided what ours will be yet, but I want to have one pure white sugar treat in the basket. Probably a chocolate cross if I can find a nice one.

Chocolate-dipped fruit - This will be a first for me. I am going to try to dip some strawberries in chocolate to include in the basket. Strawberries are Jack's favorite fruit. I may do some banana as well, as banana is Andy's favorite.

The gift box. The books I got from trade at the used book store, the toys all cost me less than $5
Compensate with Toys and Books - I have a box in my closet where I collect toys and books as I come across them in thrift stores. Many times I have found toys and books in nearly-new condition for very little money. I'll be putting a couple of books and few small toys in the baskets. I found a whole set of nesting cups for Andy in the discount bin! $0.50 plus an additional 30% off for customer appreciation day.

What are your ideas? What are you planning on doing for Easter this year?

Bonus Tip - If you want to get your hands on some great whole-foods dessert recipes, one of my favorite bloggers, Laura at Heavenly Homemakers, has teamed up  with two other bloggers (Katie from Kitchen Stewardship, a new favorite of mine, and Kate from Modern Alternative Mama, who is new to me) to offer a sweet [hee hee] deal on their ebooks. You can get 4 ebooks with over 100 recipes and little overlap for less than $20. I have tried recipes from bother Laura and Katie, and I have purchased ebooks from both of them (in fact I'll be buying these soon) and I highly recommend them.

Just helping mama with the laundry. Thanks for visiting!
This post is shared with the Pennywise Platter, Monday Mania 3/19/12 ,


  1. Came over to visit! LOVE the pic of the kiddo in the dryer, he has a fantastic smile! I wanted to say thanks for catching the spam comment on my blog. I deleted it, but it deleted your comment, too, which is too bad because you are a riot. Salute to you, you awesome mama you!

    1. Thanks Melissa! I'm trying your laundry schedule this week, adapted for my family of 4. Diapers on Monday, darks today, Husband's uniforms Wednesday, whites and towels Thursday, and sheets and diapers Friday. I'm looking forward to the rest of the posts in the series, because my house is that stereotypically messy traditional foods house. :)


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