The second biggest candy-consuming holiday is approaching and the National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend $21.6 billion on all things Easter this year. Alongside jelly beans and chocolate eggs, peeps are popular during the holiday – and the factory that produces the colorful candies makes 4 million daily to keep up with the demand. Though some candy is okay once in a while, more and more parents are interested in including healthy activities during the celebration. Follow along for tips:
Easter baskets. Easter baskets, like the holiday itself, represents new life. To further reinforce this concept, consider a gardening-inspired basket for your child. Packing a basket with a child-friendly book about gardening along with biodegradable pots, a variety of herb and flower seeds, popsicle sticks for markers and some gardening tools may spark your child’s interest in science, growing their own healthy food, and getting outdoors.
If you’re looking for healthier alternatives to candy-filled baskets, consider items that encourage your child to get outdoors and moving. Inexpensive items such as child binoculars, bubbles, a paint-your-own-kite kit, street chalk and jump rope can be found in many dollar-type stores and online. Whether you’re at home or at the park, these items can fuel fun and exploring the outdoors whether that be discovering interesting birds with binoculars or impressing neighbors with colorful chalk art.
Left-over eggs. It’s believed that Ukranian immigrants brought the tradition of painting Easter eggs State-side. It’s a fun way to boost your child’s creativity and doubles as a family-bonding activity. To avoid waste, there are healthy ways to utilize your leftover boiled eggs.
- Egg breakfast casserole
- Egg or tuna salad
- Sliced eggs on toasts with avocado and herbs
- Deviled eggs
Here’s a foolproof deviled egg recipe using half of the yolks and protein-rich Greek yogurt:
- 6 eggs
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish: shrimp, dill, small lemon wedge
- Cover eggs in saucepan plus one inch of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Peel eggs and cut in half, keeping half of the yolks in a mixing bowl and smashing them.
- Add Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and light mayonnaise.
- Garnish with a sprig of dill, one shrimp and lemon wedge.
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more tips, visit ahealthiermichigan.org.
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