I was recently reminiscing about my childhood Easter egg hunts. I loved the thrill of the hunt and the bright green grass. But one memory changed the way my family is celebrating Easter this year. During one egg hunt, I had found some loose change in an egg, and it was like winning the lottery. I’m sure one of my parent’s friends had run out of jelly beans and then rummaged through his pocket. I didn’t know or care. It was treasure.

This jog down memory lane gave me a reality check that kids aren’t just excited about candy. Kids just love the hunt! They love being outside and getting grass stains on their knees. So, I bravely texted two friends, “Want to do a healthy egg hunt with me?”

My friends were on board, and we quickly found a park, made flyers and invited other families with toddlers and preschoolers. Phew… The hardest part was sending the text. I felt weird trying to break the confectionery rules of the nation.

There’s a good reason for my trepidation to break from the norm. The National Confectioners Association brags that Easter is second to Halloween in sugary sales. They even mention the percentage of parents planning on making treat-filled baskets and their levels of excitement to sneak some treats themselves. Yikes!

Don’t panic if you want to create a fun memory that isn't based on sugar. It turns out that many other moms would like to as well; they just need an invitation.

Here’s the list of candy alternatives that will be at our egg hunt:

  • Toy animals/figurines 
  • Balloons 
  • Bath squirt toys 
  • Bouncy balls 
  • Erasers (fun shapes or ones with movable parts) 
  • Hair accessories (bows & barrettes) 
  • Jewelry (rings or flexible bracelets) 
  • Loose change (e.g., pennies, dimes, etc.) 
  • Small cars 
  • Stickers 
  • Temporary tattoos

Are your kids “too cool” for traditional egg hunts? A night egg hunt using glow sticks would be awesome. It can evolve into Capture the Egg, which is, of course, a seasonally fabulous adaptation of Capture the Flag. Don’t forget to text a few friends who also have too-cool kids and invite them along.

Do you have some interesting ideas for creating healthier Easter baskets or egg hunts? Tell us about it in the comments below!