Candy-Free Easter Baskets. Good mom? Mean mom?

I’ve decided not to put any candy in my kids Easter baskets this year.

I am not against candy.  I let my kids have candy and treats pretty much on a daily basis (well, not the 1 year old…she still thinks yogurt melts are a treat).  But a few recent incidents have made me rethink the need for candy in their baskets

  1. Brady has a cavity– I am beside myself with parenting remorse over this poor little guy who now has to be sedated to have a cavity filled.  The dentist has said that some kids have groovy teeth and the ‘healthy’ All Natural Annie’s Gummy Bunnies we have been giving him are probably the culprit, despite teeth brushing.
  2. The need for treats is causing melt downs-  I am noticing more and more that he is not content to have 3 jelly beans or 1 Hersey’s kiss.  He is constantly pleading for ‘just one more’.   I feel the treats are becoming not a ‘treat’ but a norm.
  3. Sugar is Addictive– More and more research is showing the sugar triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain as drugs.  My husband and I both have a strong sweet tooth and we have just gone through a major detox ourselves.  We feel better and have lost weight because of it. It is so easy to become completely dependant on it, and I don’t want to set my kids up for this.
  4. We often use it as a bribe, not a reward “If you get dressed, you can have a treat” or “when you get ready to go, you can have a treat in the car”
  5. They still will get plenty of Easter Candy Between the community Easter Egg hunt and the easter gifts that came from both sets of grandparents, Brady is not going completely candy deprived.

I had already decided to severely limit the candy when I was out shopping for basket fillers.  Because of the cavity, I am trying to stay away from the sticky, gummy treats and go more with chocolate that is easier to brush away.  But as I started to fill the baskets…there were so many great fun things, that I put the few candy items I had purchased back in the bag and went with a completely candy free basket.

So here is what I put in each basket:


  1. Bubbles
  2. Spider Man sunglasses (for our beach trip this summer)
  3. Spider Man night light (do you see his current favorite super hero)
  4. New Crayons
  5. Pool dive toys
  6. A painting craft project
  7. Play dough (I get the party favor bag, they are small)
  8. Plastic eggs filled with quarters for his piggy bank obsession
  9. Phinnes and Ferb Pez dispenser (I put the actual pez candy away in the cupboard.  He like playing with the dispensers too, and he can have the candy later)


  1. Bubbles
  2. A sun hat (also for our beach trip)
  3. Small sand toys
  4. Playdough
  5. Sidewalk chalk (I hope she doesn’t eat it)
  6. A stuffed bunny
  7. A light up toy (to match one Brady already has and wont let her touch)
  8. Empty plastic eggs (she’s one, she just like opening them anyway!)

We are going to color hard boiled eggs Friday and I think Easter morning they will be so excited to find eggs and their baskets hidden in the back yard, I don’t even think they will notice what is missing!

What do you think?  Candy free or am I being a scrooge?  What the treat policy in your house?