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Avoiding the Easter Candy? …

avoidingeastercandy.jpg…Safe and Fun Easter Baskets for the Wee Ones

Last year, was my son’s second Easter, but the first one that he “got.” With a February birthday, the first one was as interesting to him as paint drying, but last year’s presented a dilemma for a mama with a 14-month old at the time. I didn’t want him to have candy yet (for obvious reasons, such as new teeth, and wanting to maintain my sense of good, early nutritional habits), but I also didn’t want him to miss out on the Easter Basket- and Egg Hunt fun. So I got a little creative and made an alternate basket for him, and luckily, my mother-in-law who always hosted the annual egg hunt cooperated with me.

Among the offspring of my husband and his siblings, my mother-in-law has seven grand children. Because of the risk of latent boiled eggs that haven’t been found lurking around and eventually turning putrid, my mother-in-law always fills plastic eggs. For the youngest, she always writes his or her name on their eggs so that the older kids don’t take the youngest’s eggs or so they can give them to the youngest if they happen to come across them during the hunt. It was this tradition that inspired me to make special baby eggs for my newly toddling little guy.

Here are some tips on making a safe, fun Easter Basket or Egg Hunt for your young toddler or older baby.

The Eggs?for an Egg Hunt and for the Basket

Get empty fillable plastic eggs in various sizes. While many of us are concerned with plastic these days, right now, there isn’t another option for fillable eggs. The good thing is that they are reusable?so once the holiday is over, you can pack them up and save them for next year.

Fillings for the Eggs

Inedible:

Get small wind-up toys, little stuffed animals and other small “party favor” type things to place inside the eggs. You can also use alphabet or number refrigerator magnets, small blocks and other similar small items that will fit into the larger eggs. Of course, heed warnings for small objects that could become choking hazards. In our case, we decided to go with the wind-up toys because we knew that at that age, our son wouldn’t be playing with them unsupervised.

Edible:

Depending upon where your child’s dietary development is, opt for things like goldfish crackers, apple wheels and organic dried fruit.

The Basket

Get a wood or other basket made of natural materials. You can also opt for a decorative pail, such as can be found at craft and gardening stores.

At a party supply store, craft store or general merchandise store like Target, get green raffia or crinkled paper?the kind for lining gift bags. Use the raffia or crinkled paper for the “grass” in the basket instead of traditional cellophane grass. You can also take green construction paper and run it through a shredder and then crumple the shreddings yourself.

Small, seasonal board books are great to put in the basket as well, such as ones about Easter, about springtime, animals or classics like “Guess How Much I Love You,” and Beatrix Potter books.

Add some of the filled eggs and a stuffed animal or two.

Wrap the basket with seasonable wrapping paper and a bow and you’re good to go for a candy-free and baby/toddler-safe Easter Basket.


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