Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hippity Hoppity

Easter's just around the corner, and as a vegan parent that can make you nearly as frightened as Halloween and Valentine's Day. From school parties to well meaning family members, candy centered holidays mean constant vigilance about what your child puts into her mouth. You'll be on a constant watch for Cadbury eggs and Peeps that find their way into your house, hoping to find and toss them before your kidlets realize you've taken away their booty.

Fortunately, as veganism makes it's way into the consciousness of more people, our vegan children can enjoy the holiday in a chocolate and sugar induced mania along with the rest of their friends. With vegan versions of chocolate bunnies, Peeps, and other traditional Easter candies, vegan children needn't miss any of the special treats that traditionally fill Easter baskets. Check out some of these great items to fill your child's basket this year:

Sweet and Sara: Makers of deliciously addicting vegan marshmallows bring to you Marshmallow Chicks and Bunnies (Peepers and Skippers) as well as chocolate decorated marshmallow Easter Eggs.

Divvies: In addition to being vegan, all Divvies treats are made in a dedicated allergen free facility. For Easter they offer 4 oz chocolate bunnies and pastel Easter Jelly Beans. The chocolate bunnies are made in limited supply, so order soon to get one before they are gone.

Peanut Free Planet: Because of Teeny's allergies, I spend a lot of time around candy based holidays researching and finding safe treats for her. Not all of the products on Peanut Free Planet are vegan, but many of them are. These adorable chocolate baby bunnies for instance are completely vegan, as are these totally sweet Easter Egg Lollipops.

There are, of course, many other vegan candies that will fill an Easter basket nicely. Or, if you are so inclined you could try your hand at this veganized version of the famous Cadbury Creme Eggs. I haven't tried this recipe personally (this might be the year), but I've read many people's absolute ravings on their success, so if you are feeling ambitious give it a go. Or better yet, create your own new, favorite, vegan Easter candy.

And let's not forget, a chocolate bunny, or a few cute Peepers and Skippers will be more than enough candy in the kidlets' baskets. I often fill baskets with stickers, temporary tattoos, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, crayons, coloring books, etc. Point is, an Easter basket can and will be just as fun sans oodles of teeth rotting sweets.

In addition to dealing with the barrage of non vegan candy making it's way into your kidlets grubby little hands, there's the extra special bonus that Easter provides.............the opportunity to be the freaky family that denies their children the opportunity to turn hard boiled eggs a multitude of pastels. Don't fret, it's not a big deal, in my pre-vegan experience children bore quickly of dunking eggs in food dye anyway, so there's really nothing lost. Replace this tradition with a new one that you create. Last year we made these "clay" eggs and painted them. Not only was it great fun, we now have keepsakes for years to come.

Holiday's as a vegan don't have to be stressful, with a little thought and a little organization your vegan holiday will be as special and rewarding as your vegan lifestyle. You can celebrate this Easter season and revel in the knowledge that you are celebrating this holiday of new life in a caring, kind, and compassionate way.

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