CookingLight diet CookingLight diet
Kimberly Holland
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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