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Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Bars

Guest post by Marnely Rodriquez-Murray, author of the blog, Cooking with Books.

These are great energy bars, as well as an extra side to your breakfast! Frost them with your favorite nut butter and you’ve got a great afternoon snack!

Ingredients (Makes 10 small-square bars)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour
1 medium carrot, shaved
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tbsp curd/jam/jelly*
1 large egg
2 tbsp golden flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup chocolate chunks

Directions
1. Stir all ingredients together until incorporated.
2. Pour into pan greased with coconut oil
3. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into squares. Enjoy!

*Jam/Curd: I added an organic Cranberry-Orange Curd I had in the fridge. For flavor, for moisture, and for fun. You can add any jam you have in the fridge or just add a little more coconut oil to replace the moisture.

Substitutions
These bars are gluten-free and dairy-free but can easily be adapted to become:
Vegetarian: Remove egg and replace with flax seed paste.
Sugar-Free: Use dark chocolate chunks and replace raw sugar with agave. Also use sugar-free jam/jelly.

About the Author: Marnely Rodriguez-Murray is currently a freelance food writer and professional baker, living on Martha’s Vineyard. She was born and raised in Dominican Republic, so her food is influenced by tropical flavors and intense combinations. Her blog, Cooking with Books, shares with readers the latest cookbooks in the market, recipes for the home cook, and more!

Celebrate Mother’s Day with an EatSmart Giveaway for 2

To show our fan appreciation and celebrate Mother’s Day, one lucky fan will win TWO EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scales – one for you and one for Mom! (In the colors of your choice.)

Entering the contest is easy, and can be done through the form below. Here is how you can win:

  • Fill in your name. (1 Entry)
  • Fill in your email. (1 Entry)
  • What activities have you and your Mom done together (either as a child or an adult) that promotes a healthy lifestyle? (1 Entry) Bonus: We will feature the most unique responses in our special Mother’s Day Blog Post on May 8th.
  • Like this blog post. (1 Optional Entry)
  • Like us on Facebook. (1 Optional Entry)

Giveaway ends on Monday, May 7th at 12 noon EST. The lucky winner will be selected at random and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. (Sorry, but it’s limited to US residents only!)

National Zucchini Bread Day

Did you know that April 25, 2012 is a day to CELEBRATE? Not only is it Administrative Professionals Day but also National Zucchini Bread Day!

The primary ingredient in zucchini bread is of course, zucchinis, but you can also add various other ingredients to make a moist, delicious healthy treat.  Zucchini has a high water content, is low in calories and provides a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, carotenes and lutein, a phytochemical thought to protect vision.

The Zucchini bread recipe that we used was originally posted on the Mayoclinic.com, with only one minor change – we substituted cranberries for raisins.

Ingredients:               
6 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat (whole-meal) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups crushed, unsweetened pineapple
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add the egg whites, canola oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on low speed until thick and foamy.

In a small bowl, stir together the flours. Set 1/2 cup aside. Add the baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon to the small bowl of flour.

Add the flour mixture to the egg white mixture and using the electric mixer on medium speed, beat until well blended. Add the zucchini, walnuts, pineapple and cranberries and stir until combined. Adjust consistency of the batter with the remaining 1/2 cup flour, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. The batter should be thick and not runny.

Pour 1/2 of the batter into each prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the loaves out of the pans onto the rack and let cool completely. Cut each loaf into 9 1-inch slices and serve.

Celebrate the day by making this recipe and gifting a loaf to the special administrative assistant in your life.  It’s guaranteed to sweeten their special day!

About the Author: Maria Geronimo is the Public Relations Director at EatSmart Products.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month – Are you aware of how many calories are in your drink?

Do you know that April is Alcohol Awareness Month? In 1987, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence founded this national month to create awareness about the use of alcohol and the serious consequences associated with its misuse. To honor this important month, we wanted to remind everyone that moderation is key when drinking alcoholic beverages.  An often overlooked consequence of drinking alcohol is the amount of calories consumed, which can have an adverse effect on weight-loss progress.

Would you drink 6 cans of Pepsi or Sprite in one sitting? No way! But many people don’t pay enough attention to the calories they consume when they drink 6 cans of beer in a couple of hours. It adds up to over 700 calories from the alcoholic drinks alone, not including the food you snack on with those drinks.

Pay special attention to drink mixes such as margarita mix, energy drinks, and juices with high fructose corn syrup are just as hard for your body to process as the alcohol itself.  Not to mention, they are loaded with artificial preservatives, calories, and sugars. Stay on track of your health and weight loss goals, be aware what is in your drink and try to limit the number of high-calorie cocktails you consume. A responsible drinker finishes one cocktail, glass of wine, or beer, then has a glass of water (calorie free!) and continues to alternate in this manner throughout the night.

The number of calories in alcoholic beverages depends on several factors, including the amount and proof of the alcohol, the mixers and the size of the drink. So, just how many calories are in your favorite cocktail? The following calorie counts for popular alcoholic drinks are approximations based on popular recipes, and may vary depending on ingredients and portions.

  • Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories
  • Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
  • Cosmopolitan (4 oz): 200 calories
  • Margarita (8 oz): 280
  • Martini (2.5 oz): 160
  • Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
  • Red wine (5 oz):120
  • White wine (5 oz): 120
  • Beer (12 oz): 150-198
  • Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
  • Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 64-95
  • Champagne (5oz): 106-120
  • Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
  • Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
  • Screwdriver (8 oz): 190
  • Mimosa (4 oz): 75
  • Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
  • Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780
  • White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
  • Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
  • Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185
  • Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98

Remember, moderation is key when it comes to drinking and weight-loss. Drinking the occasional cocktail, beer, or glass of wine won’t make you fall off your weight-loss wagon. However, you might want to think twice if you find yourself drinking more than one drink, multiple nights per week and hitting a plateau in your health goals.

What tips do you have to drink alcohol “smart”?

About the Author: Karen Welby is the Marketing Director at EatSmart Products and a Personal Trainer/Health Coach.

New York Bagels

Guest post from Terra, the owner of Cafe Terra Blog, a baking and cooking blog that features healthy versions of common recipes.

Ingredients:
1 cup Water
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Sugar
3 cups Bread Flour
2+1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Baker’s Note: If an egg bagel is preferred, reduced water to 3/4 cup and add 1 egg at room temperature.

Directions:
Bread Machine Method
Have liquid ingredients at 80º F and all others at room temperature. Place ingredients in pan in the order listed. Select dough/manual cycle. Do not use the delay timer. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, 1/2 to 1 TBSP at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 TBSP of flour at a time. When cycle is complete, remove dough and follow directions under the Shaping, Rising and Baking section below. See our Bread Machine section for more helpful tips and information.

Mixer Methods
Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, salt and sugar. Heat water to 120º to 130º F.

Hand-Held Mixer Method
Combine dry mixture and water in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

Standard Mixer Method
Combine dry mixture and water in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

Food Processor Method
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add water. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

Rising, Shaping, and Baking
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into 4 parts and each part into 3 pieces. On lightly floured surface, shape each piece into a smooth ball. Punch a hole in the center with a finger. Pull dough gently to make a 1 to 2-inch hole. Heat 2 quarts water and 2 tablespoons sugar to boiling. Place a few bagels at a time in boiling water. Simmer 3 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place on a greased cookie sheets. Brush tops with 1 slightly beaten egg white; sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 375º F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets; cool.

*You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast OR 3/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information.

This delicious recipe for New York Style Bagels comes from Red Star Yeast. Click here for the original recipe on their website.

About the Author: For her day job, Terra works as a Senior Food Safety/Quality Assurance Auditor, for restaurants, hotels, resorts, amusement parks and even jails! Food safety is not her only love, making-baking-cooking fun, sometimes healthy meals is her love and passion. She is a food writer, recipe developer, and self-taught pastry chef.

10 Bad Eating Habits Parents Often Teach their Kids

Guest post by journalist, Suzanne Cullen.

Kids most often learn by example and I think we as parents tend to forget that fact as they get older. Once our kids are a little more self-reliant we usually go back to our habits as they were pre-children. As life picks up, moms go back to work when the kids start school, and everything gets busier, and it gets harder and harder to set a good example for our kids. Do you do any of the following bad habits in front of your kids?

#1 Salting your food before you taste it: This used to be a secret test that interviewers would use to size up a candidate for a job. Their reasoning? Salting your food before you taste it at a restaurant means that you have preconceived notions about how it will taste and this could trend over into other aspects of your personality. With children, using too much salt is a bad habit to get into because it’s not good for blood pressure and it makes your body retain water. Instead, try to use other spices to season your food, adding flavor without unnecessary sodium.

#2 Eating really fast: In our frenetic lives of running our children from activity to activity we often don’t have time to sit down as a family and enjoy our food. Eating too fast can lead to over eating because your body doesn’t realize that it’s full until after you’re done eating, and this can lead to weight gain. This is especially bad for our children because we are not teaching them to enjoy their food and listen to their body’s hunger cues. When they feel full they should stop eating.

#3 Skipping breakfast: We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why do so many adults still skip it? Scientific studies have shown that people who eat breakfast weigh less than those that skip breakfast so why do so many women still skip breakfast to save calories? Kids especially need breakfast to fuel their bodies and brains for a long day at school. Unlike adults, they can’t – and shouldn’t – get up and go to the vending machine when they are hungry.

#4 Midnight snacking: This late night habit of grabbing a snack is terrible for your system. Odds are that you are going to go to bed very soon after eating and those calories are not going to get burned off, which will also lead to weight gain. Kids who are active burn up calories a lot faster than adults and might need a healthy snack before they go to bed, but it should be at least a half an hour before bedtime and definitely not at midnight.

#5 Eating while driving: Again, in our hectic lives we’re constantly running from one activity to another, whether with the same child or a different child or our own personal activities. We grab a bite through the drive-thru and inhale it while going down the road, and we are inadvertently teaching our kids the same as they eat their nuggets and watch us in the back seat. What we should be showing them is to drive undistracted and that it’s important to focus on our food and enjoy what we are eating. Mindless eating is what also another cause of people being overweight.

#6 Skipping vegetables: We always think of children as not liking vegetables, but there are plenty of adults who don’t like vegetables either and it’s very hard to get your kids to eat vegetables if you don’t. Kids learn by example, and when you skip veggies they will skip them too.

#7 Eating out a lot: See a reoccurring theme here? When we are busy there’s no time for preparing a home cooked meal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that restaurant food has a lot more sodium and calories than a home cooked meal. Look into other options, such as making meals ahead of time on the weekends so you can just take them from the freezer and heat them up, or get out your slow cooker and use it for hectic weeknights. What’s nice about a slow cooker is that if you take a few minutes in the morning to prepare it and turn it on you can forget it until you get home. Also, if you eat in shifts everyone can eat hot food when they are ready to eat.

#8 Consuming large portions: While we are out in those restaurants that we all love to frequent we are served huge portions of food that are much larger than the portions we should be eating. If we don’t get a big portion then we think we aren’t getting our money’s worth, but the portion sizes are at least twice if not three times that of a regular portion size. What we should be doing is eating the kid’s portion size instead. Keep in mind that our stomach is the size of our fist and that is how much food you should be putting in there. If you eat more than that you run the risk of stretching your stomach and then it will take more food to fill you up next time.

#9 Dipping food in sauces: Ketchup, mayonnaise, honey mustard, and ranch dressing are just a few of those wonderful sauces that we love to dip our food into. We can take a perfectly healthy stalk of celery and ruin it by dipping it into ranch dip. Our already unhealthy and greasy French fries get dipped in ketchup or mayonnaise so we can add a few hundred more calories to them. Kids learn by example, and if you think it tastes good then odds are they will too.

#10 Not drinking enough water:  Serve water or milk at meals instead of other sugary options and your kids will be a lot healthier for it. As adults, we usually have coffee in the morning and then have a soft drink while out for lunch with friends from work. By the evening we’ll have anything from another soft drink to a glass of wine with dinner.  During the day if we need a pick-me-up we’ll grab a caffeinated beverage. At no time do we drink water. If you drink more water your kids will drink more water and everyone will be a lot healthier for it.

How did you overcome any of these bad habits?

About the Author: Suzanne Cullen, regularly writes for http://www.aupair.org/. She is a graduate in English literature and currently pursuing her masters in Online Journalism. She can be reached via email at: suzanneclln91@gmail.com.

Cherry-Walnut Almond Flour Cookies

Guest post by Tina Haupert, author of the blog Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

Ingredients: (Makes 12 cookies)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375*F.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.
Roll batter into 1-inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake cookies for approximately 12-15 minutes.
Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.
Eat and enjoy!

About the Author:  For more than four years, Tina has shared her life through journaling her daily meals and workouts on her blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Each day, she strives to find the right balance without losing out on fun or good taste. Tina also writes a weekly feature for Health.com and blogs for a nutritional rating company called NuVal. Her first book, Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Cupcake at a Time, was published in May 2011.

There’s Gluten in That? Surprising Foods, Cosmetics, and Pills That Contain Gluten

Original article posted on Everyday Health by Madeline Vann, MPH. Medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD.

If you have celiac disease, you may respond strongly and negatively to even small amounts of gluten. So you scour packaged foods labels before you buy, and you question your servers carefully at restaurants. But you might be surprised to learn that certain products, including non-food items, can contain various forms of hidden gluten. And while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed and will soon begin implementing “gluten-free” labeling standards for food products, these standards do not apply to every item that could contain gluten.

Sniffing out hidden gluten may require some extra attention. Here are some sources to put on your radar.

Medications. This one may surprise you. “When you look at the word gluten, think glue. It is often used as a binder,” explains Alice Bast, executive director and founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The group has successfully educated the public about the issue, leading to an effort on the part of the FDA to address medication labeling, which today does not include specific mention of gluten or wheat products.

Bast acknowledges it can be difficult to figure out whether a medication has gluten in it or not. In general, she says, generics seem more likely to contain traces of gluten.

Beauty products. Research presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology demonstrated how difficult it is for consumers to find out whether their beauty products contain forms of gluten. Even though you’re not actually eating cosmetics, even a small amount of gluten in a lip balm could cause a problem — think of how often you bite or lick your lip. Researchers have raised the question of whether gluten-containing lotions and moisturizers might trigger a response in the skin of a person with celiac disease. The investigation was prompted by case studies of two women who had contact irritation on their skin that went away when they stopped eating gluten in their diet and stopped using beauty products containing gluten. In beauty products, hydrolyzed gluten is used to make both emulsifiers and stabilizers. This is an area of research that requires further exploration, but people with celiac disease who want to live a gluten-free lifestyle should be aware of the ingredients in their cosmetics.

Vitamin supplements. As with prescription medications and cosmetics, gluten may appear in vitamin supplements purely as a binding agent, says Bast.

Pickles. “The problem with pickles is beer,” says Bast. And you thought you were being so good by cutting out the suds. Some pickling processes include malt vinegar (a beer-like liquid), which may contain gluten.

Bouillon cubes. This seemingly harmless soup base can be a gluten landmine. As with many packaged spice combinations, you’ll find gluten in some bouillon cube brands. The ingredient to avoid is maltodextrin, a gluten product. A better bet, if you have the time, is to make your own stock on a Sunday afternoon and freeze it in containers for future soups and stews.

Gravy. Homemade gravies made with flour are obvious sources of gluten, but so are many instant gravy packets, making this cooking convenience not so helpful after all. At home, you can use cornstarch as a thickener. Away from home, it might be best to skip the gravy.

Bleu cheese. There are conflicting messages about these blue-veined cheeses. Bread mold may be used to make them, but any potential gluten they contain is a miniscule amount, below the 20 parts per million considered the FDA uses as a cut-off for “gluten free” labeling. However, if you really like cheese, Bast suggests opting for a hard cheese instead.

Hot dogs. Yes, your favorite ballpark snack could be hiding gluten. Read package labels to find a variety without it.

Soy sauce. Wheat is perhaps the last thing you associate with salty soy sauce, but it is a key part of the manufacturing process, making the condiment problematic for people with celiac disease and gluten insensitivity. Try gluten-free tamari instead.

Frozen veggies in sauce. What could be easier than popping a bag of frozen vegetables into the microwave and getting back a hot, tasty side dish? Check the ingredients first — many of the sauces contain gluten products or soy sauce. Look for unadulterated frozen vegetables when shopping.

Hot chocolate. There’s something so comforting about a warm cup of hot cocoa on a cold day — if you’ve made it yourself from scratch with cocoa, sweetener, and milk. Beware of handy prepackaged cocoa mixes, which may be processed on machines exposed to wheat products and subject to gluten cross-contamination. Good news when making your own steamy brew: If you love to toss in marshmallows, rejoice — they are gluten free.

French fries. When you eat out, you also run the risk of cross-contamination, Bast points out. While an order of French fries is gluten-free (made from potatoes, oil, and salt), if the fries are dipped in the same frying oil as breaded onion rings or hush puppies, it’s gluten-free no longer. Ask before you order.

Items labeled “wheat free.” Gluten comes from wheat, right? So that labeling should make shopping easy. However, says Bast, gluten also comes from other grains and grain combinations, including spelt, barley, and rye. So, just because a product is labeled wheat free doesn’t mean it is gluten-free.

While it might seem like there’s something watch for on every grocery-store aisle, your choices aren’t as limited as you might think. “Go with whole foods if you possibly can,” Bast advises. Yes, you’ll have to prepare meals from fresh ingredients, but you’ll gain control over what you eat and how it tastes. For non-food products, make sure you read labels and do your detective work to protect your overall health.

Do you know of any other foods that contain hidden gluten? Please share them in the comments.

Grandma Lu’s Italian Anise Easter Bread

Guest Post by Jenny Manseau, Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free.

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners)
3 – 3 1/2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (If your blend does not have xanthan gum already in it, add 2 teaspoons)
5 oz of Eggs
4 Teaspoons of Yeast (or 2 packets)
1/4 Cup Warm Water
1/2 Cup of Shortening Melted (You can use butter, Earth Balance, etc.)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Anise (Fennel) Seed
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
3/4 Cup Warm Milk (I use Soy or Nut Milks)
1 Tablespoon Anise Extract
3/4 Cup Raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°
Melt shortening (or alternative) and set aside.
Dissolve yeast in warm water, cover with plastic wrap and let it “proof”.
In a medium bowl – add flour, xanthan gum (if needed), salt, anise seeds, sugar, and raisins. Mix well.
Add milk and shrtening and mix together. Knead until combined.
Add dough to a lightly greased (use a non stick spray) loaf pan and cover with a lightly greased sheet of plastic wrap and let rest/rise for 30 minutes in a warm area.
Bake for 30 minutes
Cool and prepare frosting (optional – confectioners sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners), anise extract, and milk – combine until thick – pour over top of bread and sprinkle with seasonal sprinkles.

Happy Easter!

About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free. Jenny created her website after being diagnosed in 2008 with Celiac Disease and takes many “regular” every day recipes and alters them to the gluten-free diet.

A-Tisket, A-Tasket – Build a Healthier Easter Basket

Spring is in the air and thoughts turn to egg hunts, family time and Easter baskets.  My four sons are all grown up but after doing some reading on the adverse health effects from synthetic food dyes, I now wish that I had given more consideration as to what I was putting in their Easter baskets.

In the United States, most Easter candy– neon yellow peeps, vivid jelly beans, lollipops and the like, are made with petroleum-based (crude oil) artificial food colors.  A study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, found synthetic food dyes can trigger hyperactivity and inattention in all children, not just those with ADHD. The culprit is not sugar but specific food additives. This prompted the UK to ban these substances in foods and the European Union to require a warning on food labels. The procedure is not yet required in the United States but is currently being researched.

Always check the ingredient list on food labels and avoid candy containing synthetic dyes. Any ingredient listed as a color/number combination is a synthetic dye. (Example: Blue No. 1, Yellow No. 5, Red No. 3, and Green No. 3.)

Below are some creative substitutes to fill a fun, kid-friendly Easter basket. Candy does not have to be the main attraction. Thanks to Maryea at Happy Healthy Mama for some great suggestions:

  • Books
  • Puzzles
  • Bubbles
  • Seeds with gardening gloves and other tools
  • DVDs
  • Art supplies
  • Play-doh
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Jump rope
  • Sand toys
  • Plastic eggs filled with coins
  • Homemade cookies

No need to eliminate candy entirely—you can buy jellybeans, chocolate and other candies made with natural food colors and real vanilla. These products can be purchased online at naturalcandystore.com, indiecandy.com, amazon.com (to name a few) and retails stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Both you and the kiddies will welcome all the fun these healthy baskets bring—Enjoy!

What healthy items are you including in Easter Baskets this year?

Story by: Maria Geronimo, Public Relations Director at EatSmart Products.

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