easter basketOkay parents, Easter is just around the corner and you know what that means, right? CANDY BLIZZARD! It's snowing jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, Peeps. And even if you're not worried about the juvenile diabetes epidemic sweeping the country, you're at least not looking forward to Easter basket o' sugar crashes and gummy bear-induced tantrums. 

Personally, I'm okay with some Easter candy in moderation. But I don't like the holiday to turn into a week-long candy orgy. So -- what can I use to balance out the serious sugar action in my son's Easter basket this year? Here are a few ideas.

Actual hard-boiled eggs: You've already dyed them. Might as well slip a few in. (Does your kid only eat the whites? Mine too. Here are some ideas for those yolks.)

Fresh berries: Put a handful of blueberries or blackberries inside a few plastic eggs for a sweet treat that's all natural.

Popcorn balls: These do have a bit of sugar from the marshmallows, but otherwise these are a high-fiber, low-sugar snack. Here's Martha Stewart's recipe for popcorn balls.

Dried fruit or nuts: For something different, try dried apricots, dates, yogurt-covered raisins, toasted hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts.

Annie's Cheddar Bunnies: My son loves these. They're basically Goldfish crackers, only made with real cheese and, hello, they're BUNNIES! They also make Bunny Grahams.

Clementines: These are wee relatives of the orange with super-thin skin most kids over 3 can peel themselves. They're usually a less tart than oranges, too.

Squeezable yogurt: Most brands with cartoon characters on the package are still loaded with sugar, but they're still less sugar than candy. We like freezing ours first.

Home-baked treats: Just about any homemade cookie or muffin is still going to be less sweet than candy.

And how about a few non-edible options?

Cascarones: These are colored eggs filled with confetti -- so fun! I was thrilled when my mom sent my son some last year. Just remember to crack them outdoors unless you love vacuuming.

Polished rocks or crystals

Legos

Bouncy balls

Stickers

Play Dough

Bubbles

Egg-shaped sidewalk chalk

More from The Stir:

Red Raspberry Custard Tart for a Super Easy Easter Brunch

5 Tasty Easter Treats You Can Make at Home

Peeps Sushi: The Perfect Easter Treat

What other non-sugary treats do you put in your kids' Easter baskets?

Hungry? Need dinner ideas? Just love anything and everything food and recipes? Then you'll totally want to follow us on Pinterest! Our virtual pin boards on Kid Friendly Recipes , Sweet Treats  and Easter 2012 are pure eye candy. Yum!


Image via drewfer/Flickr