Healthy Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

You've spent all of your toddler's life working to keep them healthy and just when you think you've finally convinced them that broccoli is delicious, the next holiday or birthday rolls around and it's sugar, sugar, and more sugar.

What's a healthy parent to do? You want to encourage your child to live life and enjoy having fun and celebrating the holidays and special occasions that are meaningful to you, but you also want to encourage healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

The good news is that you can both celebrate the joy of the special holidays and promote healthy choices with low-sugar treats and gifts that get kids moving, creating, and thinking.

With gifts that will promote outdoor play and regular exercise along with snack options that cut down on the sugar, you won't have to worry about hiding candy from your kids when their next craving hits. Try out some of these healthy Easter gifts and goodies to fill your toddler's basket this year and make the best of a fun holiday without all of the sugar—and the inevitable cranky meltdown that follows.


Outdoor Toys

sidewalk chalk
Hero Images/Getty

One of the most fun ways to up the health ante of your child's Easter basket is to include lots of toys and activities that will get your little one outside and moving. It's a great idea to round up games and toys that you can do together, so the whole family stays healthy and active.

Some ideas that will encourage your little one to move their body and play outside include:

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Sand toys
  • Sunglasses (gotta keep those eyes shaded)
  • Oversized bouncy ball
  • Velcro catch-and-release ball toy
  • Frisbee
  • Toddler-sized ball and bat
  • Toddler outdoor golf set
  • Kites (just make sure you're in a clear area before launching!)
  • Jump rope (even if your child is too young to jump, you can have them practice jumping over the rope when you place it on the ground)
  • Ride-on toys
  • Toddler scooters

Spring Gear

You may not be able to fill your toddler's Easter basket up with marshmallow birds, but you could include some new spring gear that your toddler can sport while looking stylish this spring.


Dental Care

The best way to combat the trend of unhealthy Easter baskets? Give your toddler the gift of oral hygiene. Take advantage of an age where your two-year-old may actually think that brushing their teeth is fun, and buy them the flashiest, coolest toothbrush around. It will be worth it.

Look for versions that come with a timer, so your toddler can also practice independent brushing and learn how long they need to brush for proper teeth cleaning.


Easter Reading

Reading together at a young age boosts your toddler's brain development, language formation, and creates a bond that will last a lifetime. And what better way to practice reading together than with an Easter-themed book and snuggle bunny gift set?


Bubbles, Bubbles, and More Bubbles

You just can not go wrong with gifting a toddler some bubbles for Easter. Not only is it a fun and colorful gift in their basket, but it's a gift that will coax them outside for hours of outdoor fun. And honestly, there's nothing better for parents than watching the delight on their toddlers face when chasing down those bubbles. This gift is a nod to the healthy and active lifestyle that is both toddler and parent-approved.


What About the Candy?

OK, let's get down to real talk here. Does having a healthy Easter basket really mean ditching all of the sugar? Surely one teensy little chocolate bunny won't hurt, right?

Well, the answer to that is both yes and no. One treat really won't hurt your tot. "While sugar highs and crashes are a nuisance, they don’t pose any real dangers as long as they only occur every now and again," explains Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., author of Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free, in an article in The Good Men Project.

However, candy can become unhealthy if you continue to offer it to your toddler on days that aren't just special holidays. "The real danger of candy consumption is that, if not managed properly, it can set kids off down the slippery slope toward ​sugar addiction," Dr. Thompson wrote.

So go ahead and include a candied treat or two in your toddler's basket. Just opt for all-natural, low-sugar candy, like a small piece of chocolate or lollipop that doesn't include a ton of artificial ingredients, and encourage your little one to eat a balanced breakfast before indulging. (Same goes for you, parents!)


Healthy Snacks

Every Easter basket needs a snack or two, and in keeping with the Easter theme, you could fill your toddler up with some healthier treat options. The products from the Annie's natural and organic line include a lot of healthier choices than your typical sugar-filled candies, such as bunny-shaped whole grain crackers and all-natural bunny fruit snacks. Yummy and perfect for Easter.

And if you're the creative type, you could even fill a clear plastic baggie with some cheddar bunny crackers and fasten with a green yarn or string at the top so the package resembles a carrot. Your toddler will love discovering a healthy treat in their basket on Easter morning.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nekitsing C, Hetherington MM, Blundell-birtill P. Developing Healthy Food Preferences in Preschool Children Through Taste Exposure, Sensory Learning, and Nutrition Education. Curr Obes Rep. 2018;7(1):60-67. doi:10.1007/s13679-018-0297-8

  2. Houser NE, Roach L, Stone MR, Turner J, Kirk SFL. Let the Children Play: Scoping Review on the Implementation and Use of Loose Parts for Promoting Physical Activity Participation. AIMS Public Health. 2016;3(4):781-799. doi:10.3934/publichealth.2016.4.781

  3. Duijster D, De jong-lenters M, Verrips E, Van loveren C. Establishing oral health promoting behaviours in children - parents' views on barriers, facilitators and professional support: a qualitative study. BMC Oral Health. 2015;15:157. doi:10.1186/s12903-015-0145-0

  4. American Academy of Family Physicians. Dental Hygiene: How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth.

  5. Hutton JS, Phelan K, Horowitz-kraus T, et al. Shared Reading Quality and Brain Activation during Story Listening in Preschool-Age Children. J Pediatr. 2017;191:204-211.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.08.037

By Chaunie Brusie, RN
Chaunie Brusie is a registered nurse with experience in long-term, critical care, and obstetrical and pediatric nursing.