March 20, 2016

You absolutely cannot skip the sweets and treats in your Easter basket. You just can't. But you can make smarter, healthier choices. Indeed, a few simple swaps help take your Easter basket treats from ho-hum pastel candy boring to absolutely unique and entirely divine. Here, a few healthier Easter candy picks, plus more treats you can feel good about including in all the baskets you're preparing:

- Chocolate-Covered Nuts: Many chocolate-dipped dried fruits have additional sweeteners added, so skip those and go for nuts instead. Better yet, make your own chocolate-nut treats, like our Chocolate-Butterscotch-Nut Clusters.- Organic and All-Natural Candies, such as YumEarth Sweets, Quin Candy, and SurfSweets: These three brands are found in grocery stores now, but any all-natural organic sweet will do. Just read the label and packaging to make sure they're free from artificial coloring. (Bonus: SurfSweets is allergen-free.)- Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups: Our favorite Justin's peanut butter cups are now available in mini sizes, perfect for portion control and sharing!- Fruit Snacks: Gummy snacks are popular with kids of all ages (and adults, too). Be sure to pick up one that is organic and made with all-natural colors, not high fructose corn syrup and mystery chemicals. We love Annie's Bunny Fruit Snacks.

Marshmallows: No, your marshmallows don't have to be coated in neon sprinkles and rabbit shaped to be fun for this holiday. These Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows are delicious and a fun weekend cooking experiment. Not eager to try your hand at the confections just yet? Plenty of great brands offer all-natural options. Our favorite: Malvi Marshmallow Confections.- Homemade Energy Snacks: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Chia Energy Balls or Cranberry-Pistachio Energy Bars are easy to make and package in cute jars for baskets.- No-Bake Cookies: No-bake cookies make even the most oven-shy baker look like a hero. Package them in cute cellophane bags so you can divide the treats among all your little bunnies.

Popcorn Treats: An oldie, but a goodie, these classic Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls never go out of style and they’re a 100% whole-grain delight.- Nut and Seed Butter Packs: Individual squeeze packs of flavored nut butters are a delicious candy alternative. We like Justin's and Betsy's Best. The healthy doses of protein and fiber are an easy bet for Easter baskets.- Dark Chocolate Shortbread: Everything's better when it's made with dark chocolate. That includes these rich chocolate shortbread pieces.

More Easter Sweets Ideas:

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