Baskets of Health: The Easter Bunny Goes Paleo

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Oh yeah, it’s Easter.  The chocolate bunnies are out in force – ready to attack.  Jelly beans, peanut butter filled eggs, robin eggs (the ones that turn your lips funky colors – don’t ask how I know this…), and who can forget PEEPs…  Easter is the second largest sugar soaked holiday following Halloween.  It’s estimated that we rot our teeth and assault or pancreas’ with 16 billion jelly beans, 90 million chocolate bunnies (not just the ears…) and 700 million Peeps!  HOLY HYPERINSULINEMIA!!!  Here’s a look at some of the WORST offenders taking up space in our baskets.

But what’s a paleo Easter bunny to do?  The kids (and admit it, you too) are looking forward to waking up to a basket full of good stuff.  Well, luckily no one ever said that ‘good stuff’ had to mean sugar bombs wrapped in pastel colored foil.  This year Peter Cottontail is going Paleo and the kids are still going to be happy on Easter morning!  So let’s see what’s ‘hop’pening in a cavekids basket!

Let’s get started with the ‘meat’ of the contents:

  • It would be a bit disturbing for any kid to wake up to a basket full of bunny jerky, but beef jerky – well, that’s another story!  Check out Paleo Brands for some awesome jerky and steak sticks!
  • EGGS!!  This is a no brainer!  Easter is colored egg season and I’m not talking the ‘foil wrapped’ chocolate, color your lips malted, or Cadbury Crème numbers that we are all too familiar with…  I’m talking REAL hard boiled eggs.  Lots of kids LOVE these and dying them is a major part of the fun!
  • Go nuts!  Macadamias, almonds, walnuts…  Throw some of these in to keep the kids crunching!

The ‘sweet’ spot:

  • No Easter basket is complete without something sweet – that doesn’t mean it needs to be to the tune of the “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing 1,100 calorie, 110 gram of sugar giant chocolate bunny that started with just an innocent bite of the ears…  There are better options to consider for sure!
  • We’ve talked about ‘paleo treats’ being a ‘sometimes’ food and folks – this might be one of those times.  A few paleo cookies, Larabars, or other ‘clean’ paleo sweets make a nice addition to the basket.
  • Throw in some unsweetened coconut chips and a little extra-dark chocolate. Make your own trail mix with the coconut, chocolate and some nuts.
  • Non-traditional sweet tasting foods are awesome too!  Think baby carrots – Easter Bunnies LOVE carrots and so do kids – apples, grapes, and other fruits put a new and nutrient rich twist on the standard ‘fruit flavored jelly beans’.
  • Add a bottle or two of coconut water for hydration and you’ve got one fine looking basket.

Non-food Fun:

  • Who said that Easter baskets had to be filled with food?  Why not mix things up and give the kids something to do or play with!
  • How about a book?  Reading is fun and if you’re looking for an awesome book to teach your kids about being healthy check out Paleo Pals!
  • Coloring and activity books make another great option.  Add some crayons or markers and get ready to decorate the refrigerator!
  • Get them moving!  Active toys are a great idea – jump ropes, balls, bats, Frisbees, rollerblades, bikes, even sidewalk chalk!  Take the kids outside and soak up the vitamin D!

There you have it – a few ideas for the Paleo Easter Bunny in your neck of the woods.  A few things to consider when assembling this year’s baskets:  when a chicken lays an egg it’s NOT chocolate or wrapped in foil, beans do not come out of the ground made of jelly, and if you have never in your life come across a pink marshmallow bunny or blue marshmallow chicken in nature – be suspect.  Have a great holiday!

What’s the Easter Bunny bringing to your house?

 

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  1. Charlie
    April 5, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Dont forget Paleo Chocolate! Paleochocolate.com

  2. Joanne - The Real Food Mama
    April 5, 2012 at 5:25 am

    This post is perfect thank you!! We have been struggling with the grandparents at Holdiay times!! They send heaps of candy to our kids! Not cool. Here is an easy guide I can send them!! :)

    Our Easter Baskets for the kids have books, coloring activities, stuffed animal and a new movie. We also litter the yard with plastic eggs filled with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. They spend time running around all afternoon collecting them!! As a treat everyone gets a piece of dark chocolate!

  3. Kelly
    April 5, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I remember as a child, my vegan aunt put together an Easter basket for her 2 kids and me – worst Easter basket ever! The chocolate in it tasted like dirt and cardboard mixed together. I wish she had been Paleo…

  4. Leigh Gust (@theprimepursuit)
    April 5, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Excellent post, Amy!! I am trying to implement new traditions with my kids that differ from the cheap junk corporations want to sell to us for a quick dollar. It takes a little creativity, and there are many good options, and they won’t feel like anything is missing! We wrote this post yesterday for kids: festive food presentations to celebrate easter/spring. http://theprimepursuit.com/2012/04/04/easter-and-spring-treats/

  5. Guy
    April 5, 2012 at 5:59 am

    The Easter Bunny will be bringing roast leg of lamb to our table this Sunday. Probably some kale and some Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes.

    • Amy Kubal
      April 5, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Send that bunny to my house too!! :)

  6. Bevie
    April 5, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Easter bunny brings craft supplies to my house. We make our own treats, dark chocolate in little candy molds is as much fun for kids to make as it is to eat, especially if they get to stir in a bunch of pecans.

    • Heather
      April 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

      AWESOME IDEA! Thank you!

  7. Amy
    April 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing. (btw, my kids would get a huge kick out of “bunny jerky,” lol)

  8. Adriana
    April 5, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Holidays are hard with kids! My son came home from preschool with more candy on Valentines that Halloween! He had a piece in the car, another one at home, we gave him all the cards and stickers, and toys… and the rest went to the trash. I’ve learned that out of sight, out of mind. My son never asks for candy at home.
    For easter, we are filling their baskets with spring stuff… beach towel, new hats… i don’t care that it costs me more than candy, its worth it. The only candy we are doing in Easter eggs is chocolate covered raisins. They find them, they eat them, they are gone!

  9. Elissa
    April 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

    best line ever…”It would be a bit disturbing for any kid to wake up to a basket full of bunny jerky, but beef jerky – well, that’s another story!” thank you for that!!

    • Amy Kubal
      April 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      You’re welcome!! It’s also “National Humor Month” – so I thought I would try and work some in! ;)

      • Chefmark
        April 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm

        I always have rabbit on the menu for Easter..it freaks people out, but still sells out every time.
        Maybe a good activity for the kids to go hunting for rabbits on easter ….that may be tootraumatising to have an easter bunny hunt and eat it too…

  10. Allison
    April 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    The Easter Bunny likes to leave Spring garden stuff in our baskets. Kid sized garden gloves, seeds to plant (carrots, sunflowers) maybe a trowel or two, sunglasses or hats.

    • Amy Kubal
      April 6, 2012 at 4:36 am

      Awesome ideas and bunnies like carrots!!! :)

  11. Curt
    April 6, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Great post Amy. We always received a few seed packets in our Easter baskets.

    They were a gift that lasted all summer. It was great fun planting, caring for the plants, and eating something that you grew yourself.

  12. Cathy
    April 6, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Great ideas! I wish I had been a little wiser when my kids were younger, but I wasn’t quite there yet. One great tradition we did start when they were young was an annual Easter hike. Whatever the weather, we all head out together and hike, enjoying all the new life around us. This year my husband, two teens and I are also going to play Frisbee golf for the first time. I’m looking forward to it!

  13. Kristina
    April 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I know Easter is already past us, but on Mark’s Daily Apple, another site I read a great deal on, I read a success story about these lovely ladies in Illinois who make small-batch, locally-sourced chocolates that are all gluten- and dairy-free. I ordered some for a friend’s birthday and she loved them!

    They’re here at http://www.etherealconfections.com/

  14. Kendra
    April 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    We put together Paleo Easter baskets for our kids as a prank (even before I read this blog). It had a can of tuna, some nuts, dates, an orange, an avocado, hard boiled un-decorated eggs, and a package of Canadian bacon. They were unimpressed, until I handed them a bag full of a minimal amount of candy and a season pass to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. I agree…the problem is less about what they eat at home and more about what they get at all the other kid related functions. Makes me crazy that it seems like everyone in the world has the attitude that “aw….some sugar once in a while won’t kill them…” yet their version of once in a while is far different than mine!

    • MJD
      April 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Yeah, treats on special occasions sounds like a nice plan, until special occasions are every weekend and half of the week days–visits to grandmas house, class parties, mid and post-game snacks (little league, soccer…can kids really not function w/out food for 1 hour?), holidays, birthday partys (can we end the party favor tradition? who needs the candy and crappy plasic toys?), play dates…the list goes on. And then, they complain because I don’t ever let them have treats! Someone has to feed them actual food! And I felt this way BEFORE I started eating Paleo. Now it’s even worse because I’m counting all the goldfish and pretzels and juice boxes…

      For Easter, we decorate hard-boiled eggs and the “Easter Bunny” hides them. The bunny also brings them a new swim suit. They really enjoy this tradition.

      On a side-note, I believe feeding your kids is a tougher issue for working parents than for families with a stay-at-home parent, simply because we have less opportunities to feed our kids and therefore less control of what they eat. I have toyed with the idea of laying down some rules for what grandma can feed them, but, as most of us know, relationships with in-laws can be complicated, especially when they are providing childcare. Also, my kids are still young (ages 1 thru 7), and I’m betting it will also get harder as they get older and start to make more of their own decisions about food.

      On another side-note, I want my kids to be critical thinkers and I encourage them to make their own decisions, so it feels strange to be semi-brainwashing them with “paleo dogma”. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it all, but how much can you really explain to a kid about insulin and fat and glucose and hormones? No matter what I say, I think all they absorb is “sugar is bad! fat is good!” I try to really communicate the importance of consequences, both long-term and short-term and how eating healthy can be hard because negative consequences are mostly long-term. Now, I know they’re not all long-term, that eating crappy can make me feel crappy the next day, but kids just aren’t that in tune with their bodies and the delayed consequences (even just one day!) creates a disconnect between the cause and effect. I’m also trying to help them make the short term connection. When they are tired, or sick, I ask them what they ate at grandma’s yesterday and how much sleep they got the last two nights. I hope that they will start to see these connections at an earlier age than I did.

      Lastly, can you imagine the peace of mind you would have if you knew that wherever they were, someone was feeding them REAL healthy food? *sigh*

      • Heather
        April 6, 2014 at 10:10 am

        I know this response is two years later and all but I did have the same problem with my own mother ( marshsmallows for breakfast?! ). However, she had no problem with feeding them a packed lunch from home. My kids enjoyed making their own lunches and it came down to eating what grandma made or what they packed for themselves. She couldn’t deny the excitement especially when they would pack her one too.

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