Neither of my boys can have dairy, which makes holidays especially challenging. The pot luck breakfast on Easter morning generally has one, maybe two, items without cheese, milk, or sour cream. Easter baskets are filled with chocolate bunnies, Cadbury creme eggs, and Reese’s peanut butter eggs. It’s a dairy-filled minefield for a kiddo who is allergic, which can quickly turn a fun holiday into a lot of “nos” from Mama and Daddy. Coming up with dairy-free Easter basket ideas has always been a tough one for me since my favorite food in the world is Cadbury creme eggs and it breaks my heart that my kids won’t know the pleasure of biting off the ears of a chocolate bunny. Thankfully, I’ve come up with some really cute ideas, most of which aren’t even food (read: no sugared up kids on Easter morning). Plus, the items are actually things I WANT in my house, not little trinkets that are going to drive me crazy for a month before I finally make them “disappear.”
I’m linking as many of them as I can to Amazon so that you can receive them in two days or less, just in case you procrastinated as much as I do (not that we EVER procrastinate holidays, right?). A few of them aren’t going to make it to you in time for this year, but you should DEFINITELY keep them in mind for next year because they’re just that awesome. We use the same dairy-free Easter basket ideas with different themes– gardening, outdoor play, characters, animals, etc.– year after year. This year’s theme is gardening, so I’ll be including suggestions for that in my ideas, but feel free to substitute whatever theme you’d like into these ideas (for example, different books for different themes)!
For more dairy-free goodness, make sure you make some dairy-free single-serving cupcakes with a super creamy lemon buttercream frosting! Spending some time outside this weekend? Make sure you protect your family with a completely natural bug spray!
Dairy-Free Easter Basket Ideas
Books– We LOVE books in this house. Heck, I make an Advent calendar entirely out of books every year. My favorites this year came from Usborne Books. I bought a Gardening for Beginners book for Matthew (4), which has a ton of super kid-friendly gardening activities that will yield something edible or pretty or fun and it’s educational, too! I got a Shine-a-Light book called Secrets of the Vegetable Garden for Mason (1) all about plants, where you use a flashlight behind the page to see the roots or worms below the soil, the scarecrow in the field, etc.
Some other favorites are Christian-based Easter books (because books about Easter on Easter are awesome to use the next year during Holy Week). My favorite one is God Gave Us Easter (available on Amazon), with its beautiful pastel illustrations and on-target message about why we celebrate Easter. Another classic is The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story (also available on Amazon).
- Jelly Beans— I love jelly beans because they’re mostly allergen-free (including dairy) and I can just put a few in a plastic egg which means inherent portion control. “Sure, kid, have an Easter egg of jelly beans!” He thinks he’s getting away with something, and I know he’s not going to get a stomachache. These are my favorite since I think they have the best texture and DEFINITELY the best options when it comes to flavors. Plus, they have Amazon Prime shipping so they’ll get to you in two days or less (seriously, if you don’t have it, you need it)!
- Gardening Set— I love doing seasonally-appropriate gifts for stockings or Easter baskets. A gardening set with gloves, spade, watering can, rake, fork, etc. is perfect to go with the books I’m giving my boys and it’ll get used all summer long! This one is too cute with its carrying case and comes in both blue and pink.
- Sidewalk Chalk— Speaking of seasonally-appropriate, how about some sidewalk chalk in the shape of eggs?! It’ll get played with for hours (plus time for you to just sit while they decorate your driveway) and look adorable in an Easter basket.
- Bubbles— What kid doesn’t love bubbles? I put these adorable bubble wands in Matthew’s basket a couple of years ago and they STILL get played with.
- Bath Colors— Offering a “colorful bath” to Matthew gets him up and moving toward bed. He picks the color and it dyes the water (without dying the bathtub, I promise… these have been tested in a half dozen different houses!). Plus, if you pick two different colors, you can teach them about how green or purple happen!
- Plant a Maze— Y’all. If we’re doing a gardening theme, you HAVE to grab one of these. The kids get to plant the plant and it’ll grow up through the maze. How freaking cool is that?! It’s educational, too, since you get to see the roots and seed below the soil (courtesy of the clear shield) and the plant above soil!