Sneak some nutrition fun into your kids' Easter baskets - USA TODAY

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Sneak some nutrition fun into your kids' Easter baskets - USA TODAY
Apr 8th 2012, 02:41

By Robin Erb, Detroit Free Press


Still have to fill those Easter baskets? Looking for Easter activities?

By Jym Wilson, Gannett

Try adding a piece of fruit to make Peeps a bit more healthy.

Why not sneak a bit of fun nutrition -- fun is the key here -- in there, too? Sure, offer up some traditional treats like jelly beans and chocolate eggs, lest your little ones revolt.

"One, they will not like you, and two, they will think it's not fair," said Grace Derocha, registered dietitian and certified health coach for Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan.

But with some exotic fruits and a bit of creativity, you can also sneak a valuable lesson into the festivities, she said: "It teaches balance and moderation, even on the holidays."

-- Golden Eggs: -- Along with the other ooey-gooey eggs, toss in some kumquats -- citrus fruit the size of a grape tomato. They can be popped into your mouth whole, peel and all. They're good naked or dipped in a bit of chocolate.

-- Bunny Ears: -- With a slight "pearish-grapish" taste, a persimmon can be sliced to look like bunny ears and dipped in chocolate. Or use dried mango.

-- Bunny poop: Combine dried raisins, cranberries and blueberries, then drizzle with chocolate. Eww for you, but fun for kids.

-- Rice Krispie treat eggs: Shape marshmallow Rice Krispie treats (made with melted peeps) into egg-shaped balls, but slip in some Grape Nuts, dried fruit or peanuts, too. Dip into chocolate as an added treat.

-- Peeps s'mores: Melt chocolate on Peeps, then squeeze between slices of apple or other fruit (rather than graham crackers). Alternatively, Peeps and fruit can be slipped on sticks like kabobs.

-- Cottage cheese bunnies: For Easter breakfast, shape cottage cheese and a half of a canned pear into a bunny shape. Use fruit -- star fruit, mangos, peaches -- to make its face, and decorate it. Add a carrot for its food and even some bunny poop.

-- Fruit snackst: Dried fruit is better, but fruit snacks are an alternative to candy in a pinch. Just make sure they're made with 100 percent fruit juice to cut down the added sugars, Derocha said.

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