Celebrating Easter with the family usually comes with treat baskets for the kids, hunting for chocolate and candies, and a wide brunch or dinner spread.

You may not be able to sell your kids entirely on carrots and only healthy options gifted from the Easter Bunny, but there are choices that can make the holiday a healthier day for the whole family.

  1. Go for dark chocolate (if your kids will eat it): Dark chocolate — as opposed to milk chocolate — has nearly half the sugar and is packed with healthy antioxidants and nutrients like iron and magnesium. Certain brands will boast better nutritional value than others, so keep an eye out when shopping for those goodies.
  2. Encourage actual eating of the decorated hard boiled eggs: Decorating Easter eggs is a time-worn tradition in many families. It’s a fun craft for kids and adults alike. If you’re like me though, you never ate more than one of those hard boiled eggs when it came down to it. A single egg holds about 6g of protein and makes for a healthy alternative to candy and other sweets. Deviled eggs or egg salad can mix up the eggy taste when you’ve had your fill — just watch what additional ingredients you’re adding to the mix.
  3. Give out sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, bubble wands, or other outdoor activities: Giving the kiddos toys that encourage activity will ensure that they are not riding sugar highs and food comas for the entire day. Plus, you can join them in any of these activities to soak up some Vitamin D and get some steps in for the day.
  4. Choose healthy fruit snacks over jelly beans and other fruit-flavored candies: Kids love fruit snacks. Keep an eye on sugar and calorie counts for these snacks. Aim for brands that use real fruit or veggies to make their jelly snacks.
  5. Aim for veggies during dinner: Easter dinner in many families looks a lot like Thanksgiving. If that’s the case, make sure you are eating plenty of veggies and not carb loading your plate. Baked sweet potatoes (as opposed to mashed potatoes), roasted green beans (as opposed to green bean casserole), and mixed green salad (as opposed to plain romaine) are all great options to mix up your family dinner.
  6. Opt for fruit salad as a dessert: After a full day of candy and dinner, ditch the cakes and baked goods for dessert. If you are looking for a sweet treat, opt for fresh fruit salad to cut unnecessary calories. Carrot cake may be tempting, but make the right choice for your daily activity levels.
  7. Take a walk with the family or play outdoor games: Weather permitting, Easter Sunday is a wonderful day to take a walk in the park. Take the kids, take grandma, take the dog — any activity will make dinner taste that much better. Growing up in my large family, our traditions included games of baseball or tossing a Frisbee before going in for Easter dinner.

By: Mariah Wenzel

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