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5 Sugar-free Easter basket alternatives

Africa Studio | Shutterstock

Calah Alexander - published on 04/14/17

Could the candy in your children's Easter baskets be giving them diseases?

Just in time for Easter, Dr. Robert Lustig is here to rain all over our parade.

Dr. Lustig, a professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California at San Fransisco, explains that sugar and alcohol are metabolized virtually identically by the liver and when you overload the liver with either one, you get the same diseases. Prior to 1980, both Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease were diseases exclusive to alcoholics.

And this is where it gets scary, so hold onto your hats: Today 30 percent of children manifest some form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and the rates of Type 2 diabetes in children are approaching the rates of Type 1 diabetes.

Um. Y’all. That is terrifying.

I have a friend who always says that “sugar is poison” and I mostly make jokes back about how it’s “delicious poison,” but like, it is. Both delicious and poison. I currently have five Easter baskets hidden in my closet, loaded with poison meant to remind my children that Christ died and rose again so that they could live forever. That’s not quite how it works though, right?

Time for plan B (codename: don’t poison children in Jesus’ name). Imma compile a quick list of alternate options for those of us who got sucked into the candy aisle and are now panicking:

5 Poison-free Easter Basket Alternatives

Flower or vegetable seeds (this set comes in an egg carton!), and kid-size gardening tools

Kids LOVE planting their own seeds, watering them, and watching something grow from it — it really is a miraculous process, and it’s a perfect Easter gift.

The Dangerous Book for Boys or The Double-Daring Book for Girls

l_scarlet | Instagram

l_scarlet | Instagram

Sure, you can go traditional and get Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories for their Easter baskets — or you can be mom of the year and get your boys The Dangerous Book. If you’ve got girls, go for The Double-Daring Book for Girls instead of the authors’ first (not so) Daring Book for Girls.

Hair Chalk

This temporary hair dye is a tried-and-true Easter basket favorite at our house. It’s easy to apply and washes out like a charm, and our kids love taking advantage of the long Easter weekend to paint their hair (or, er, buzzed heads) all kinds of crazy colors!

Jumbo Sidewalk Chalk Paint Brush

mackidpitboss | Instagram

mackidpitboss | Instagram

Not into painting hair? Never fear, you can set your children loose upon the sidewalk instead with these jumbo sidewalk chalk paintbrushes! Also this will get them out of the kitchen while you’re making Easter magic.

Lego-Themed Slap Watch

‘Nuff said.

And if you really can’t imagine Easter baskets without chocolate [raises hand] guess what? You can make your own, without all the awful poison in it! Here’s a recipe for you:

Homemade Chocolate Easter Eggs

Wolfvillenutrition | Instagram

Wolfvillenutrition | Instagram

Honestly, I don’t even think my kids will notice the dearth of sugar in their Easter baskets with all this cool stuff. And their livers will thank me. And also I get to eat the confiscated Cadbury mini-eggs, so. Win-win. Happy Easter!

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