We as parents and grandparents don't want to take the fun out of our world, but we do want to protect our children from the evil in our world. Artificial foods are part of the evil our world dishes up to our kids. Here are some great recommendations to make Easter a little healthier, where you are celebrating the resurrection of Christ, or the coming of Spring.
Coloring boiled eggs has been a longtime Easter tradition. So has including plenty of milk chocolate and other sugar-laden candies. However, many of the food dyes commonly found on grocers shelves are synthesized from petroleum derivatives and even coal tar. This year, provide a healthier Easter for your children by making your own safe dyed eggs and opting for healthier substitutes for most or all of the candies.
In addition, some food dyes based on natural ingredients may come from items you may not care to ingest. For example, the common red food coloring agent carminic acid comes from the dried, crushed bodies of pregnant scale insects.
Plant-based dyes for coloring Easter eggs provide a synthetic-free and bug-free alternative, and their muted yet vibrant colors are far lovelier than their counterparts. Children seem to find that mashing food is also much more fun that simply dropping a tablet in a cup. As well, it is a great lesson in creativity and exploring which plant materials work in this way.
Some materials work best when they are boiled with the eggs (as noted below), and some work well made ahead and used for dipping or soaking the eggs. If you use juice, just use it undiluted. The longer you let the eggs soak, the more intense the color will be (for the boiled versions, you can remove them from the heat and allow to cool in the dye bath).
You can use your favorite egg-dying tricks here as well: Like crayons for a batik effect or rubber bands for a tie-dye effect. If you like a glossy egg, you can rub the dyed eggs with vegetable oil when they are dry.Homemade Dyes
Canned blueberries and their juice
Purple grape juice
Red cabbage leaves (boil w/eggs)
Red onion skins, use a lot (boil w/eggs)
Lemon or orange peel (boil w/eggs)
Carrot tops (boil w/eggs)
Celery seed (boil w/eggs)
Ground cumin (boil w/eggs)
Ground turmeric (boil w/eggs)
Spinach leaves (boil w/eggs)
Yellow onion skins (boil w/eggs)
Beets, fresh or canned
Cranberries or cranberry juice
Red grape juice
Red onion skins, less amount than you need to make red (boil w/eggs)
Diluted purple grape juice
Violet blossoms plus squeeze of lemon (boil w/eggs)
Black walnut shells (boil w/eggs)
Bright green apple peels (boil w/eggs)
Dill seeds (boil w/eggs)http://www.care2.com/greenliving/ho...Other Suggestions
Limit chocolates to small amounts of healthier dark chocolate.
Fill your own plastic shells with healthy items such as:
*Trail mix, mixed nuts, bagels or pretzel mix (you can also make your own mix)
*Granola or popcorn mix (and choose healthier organic items)
*Raisins, dried apricots or other dried fruit
*Coins or dollar bills
If you give out Easter baskets, make your own with healthier items. Besides the above filled plastic egg shells, you can also use these healthy alternatives:
*Add books by favorite children's authors, along with fun and colorful Easter-themed bookmarks.
*Fill the basket with small stuffed animals and/or with toys your kids can use while staying active outside, such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls and sporting equipment.
*Consider stocking the basket with small gifts designed to encourage creativity, such as paints, brushes, puzzles, coloring books and crayons.
*Add various kinds of seed packets and some gardening tools so your child can plant flowers or vegetables and watch them grow. Gardening is wonderfully healthy for children and spring is the perfect time for your children to pick up gardening.