Well, it’s that time of year for giving and receiving brightly colored gift baskets with the little chocolate bunny ears sticking out. We love all the joy these gifts bring, especially for the kids, and know how much effort is put into building fun gifts to truly brighten someone’s day. And although a lot of the traditional snacks that fill these baskets are packed with not-so-good-for-you ingredients, with just a little grocery store hunting, a lot of those empty calories can be replaced with more nutritious—but still delicious—treats for happy snacking.
So let’s take a look at two common basket-stuffers and, in the spirit of the season, embark on a grocery store hunt to find a more nutritious option!
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Candy Eggs – This is a seasonal favorite for many, but along with that delicious peanut butter flavor comes quite a bit of extra calories. The good news? Many grocery stores carry all-natural peanut butter, a much healthier and more versatile snacking option. Head over to the produce aisle, too, and grab some Fuji or Granny Smith apples to slice up and dip in the all-natural peanut butter for a fantastic anytime snack. And don’t forget about Chocolate Peanut Butter Balance Bars, which are full of 40-30-30 nutrition and incredible flavor.
Milk Chocolate Bunnies – As festive and fun as these are, they are also often dramatically oversized—which can make for good visual impact, but also bring way more “candy calories” into the basket than are recommended. A great portion-controlled option for the chocolate-lover in your life is a Double Chocolate Brownie Balance Bar, which is not only full of rich chocolatey flavor but also protein and 23 vitamins & minerals.
Or, if you are going to buy from the candy aisle, grab a dark chocolate bar instead of milk chocolate whenever possible. One thing to keep in mind while hunting: try to find bars with at least 70% cacao, as these contain beneficial flavonoids and antioxidants.
Some other health-conscious switch-outs include replacing caramel-chocolate eggs with a Caramel Nut Blast Balance Bar, throwing some coconut water or roasted coconut chips in your basket instead of coconut flavored chocolates, and passing on those marshmallow ducks in favor of a deliciously nutritious S’mores Balance Bar.
What are some of your favorite smart gift basket options? Share them with us on Facebook!