The Easter Grinch?!?!?!?

So am I the only one out there out there who is not going to put candy in the Easter Baskets this year? Am I the only one who is going to fore-go the spotted and pastel m&ms that I think are so beautiful and could easily redecorate my house around? No Cadbury mini eggs here... No Peeps (hate them anyhow and they always get tossed!)... No mongo-sized chocolate bunnies... no miniature chocolate bunnies. Am I a terrible mother?

My kids get way too much junk. I don't give it to them but when they are not home they somehow manage to get their hands on it. I tried to save it for special occasions, but I guess play dates are considered special occasions these days. And my older two have quite a few play dates. I can't control what goes into their mouths when they are out of the house, but I can -- and will -- control what goes into their mouths inside my house. Our families have health issues that I take seriously. My husband's side has weight issues and my side has blood pressure and heart issues. In order for my kids to stay healthy they need to watch what they eat. Many adult issues start in childhood. There is a study going on now that suggests that babies should not be on whole milk. Those with a genetic tendency to have clogged arteries are going straight to low fat milk.

My kids, for the most-part, eat very well. I push the fruits and veggies on them. No is not an option. There is always something that they like. I don't even "reward" them with dessert anymore as I do not want them knowing (though they do already) that the dessert is the coveted thing to strive for. Even on vacation at Disney World they were each allowed ONE treat a day. If they were hungry popcorn, nuts and fruit were available all around the park. They did not argue either. These are my rules and they abide by them.

In the past we have loaded up their baskets with jelly beans and chocolates and bunnies along with the other goodies. Easter ended up costing a bloody fortune! In the end, the toys were played with and the candy went into a cupboard out of reach. Eventually it all got tossed, or eaten by Mom and Dad. Will they miss the candy? Initially, I am sure they will. But we will make their Easter baskets extra special.

When my kids were little they did not eat candy. Most parents do not feed candy to the very young. (And I am always appalled at the parent who offers a baby a piece of candy.) So, if we do not give our babies candy because it is not good for them, why do we give candy to older children? As if by chance it's healthier for an older child than a younger child? Do we stop caring? Do we get lazy? What is it?

Don't get me wrong, my kids will have candy this Easter. And plenty of it. My mother-in-law always gives them these beautiful, ornate, generous baskets loaded with toys and candy. Lots and lots and lots of candy. I have to admit I did ask her to tone it down a bit this year. I have a child who needs to watch what s/he eats... and a 3 year old who will almost assuredly ask for candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner after he sees what the Easter Bunny has delivered. We'll see what happens. Last year I put all the candy that came home from Easter (not including ours) and it tipped the scale at FIVE pounds. Too much. Entirely too much. And frankly I do not need it either. And I do not want to be tempted by it either.

As I sit and decide what I will do to make sure that my children have extra special baskets this year, you may want to hop on over to List Mama's Blog where I am guest blogger today and see some of my ideas for a candy-free Easter Basket.

Please share some of your ideas with us, either over here or on Jennifer's blog! Let's see what we can all come up with!