I could list technical reasons or link to scientifically-sounding reasons for avoiding fake food dyes... but I'll just comment that one child is more affected by them than the other dc and that colored frosting killed my grass - and BURNED it. Enough for me to realize that none of us should be eating those chemicals; much less children. Thus the constant struggle to NOT eat artificial dyes. Here are my Easter finds:
I found Tasty brand fruit snacks at Sprouts and got the gum drops for an Easter Sunday surprise (we're never too old for an Easter basket right? I have 2 high schoolers now but can't even imagine not giving them a basket!).
I really, really wanted to get them some jelly beans, especially since a jar has been on the counter for dh for at least a week (my mom brought for dc but they have avoided them - what will power!!). Unfortunately the shipping is too high for these, but maybe next year:
Annie's bunny-shaped fruit snacks. They are available in more and more stores and the shapes are cute.
Dye-free Easter Eggs:
Great post about dying eggs using foods.
Cross-shaped gumdrups: I saw an idea somewhere (I *think* on Catholic Icing but I need to look) about using Jolly Ranchers and melting them together to form Cross pops. I was thinking that I could use toothpicks and thread the gumdrops to make little Crosses. One would be in the center with the 2 toothpicks criss-crossing in it. Hope it works! Jolly Ranchers wouldn't fall under the 'natural dyes' category :).
Natural Food Coloring Products:
This is a new company and not quite in stores yet. However, you can purchase, in bulk, all 6 for $60 online now. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait to try these but they answered my questions promptly through e-mail and I hope to try them soon:
!!Eco-Egg Coloring Kit with natural dyes!!
Amazon: Eco-Eggs Easter Egg Coloring Kit
More Eco-Kids products on Amazon!
India Tree also has food-based food coloring. I plan on getting some of their sugars because I think they will last longer than the liquids. I can't remember exactly how long their food coloring lasted that I tried. I will probably get a red one to start with and see how it goes. Look here for their products on Amazon [a few of their items are not dye-free so check the ingredients of your item before purchasing! The colors and the sugars that I've seen are safe, but I vaguely remember one type of product as having synthetic dyes. It may be sparkling sugar vs decorating sugar].
India Tree Natural Food Dye Products
Of course, the ultimate in dye-free Easter treats are non-food items :). I haven't been able to go by the store yet but I have some stickers left over from last year that I found at the Dollar Tree. I hope to get some holy cards (my Mom gave me some Father Seelos cards for them), perhaps a little booklet, or even some printed coloring pages.
This is a really cool View Master Easter kit I just found:
What about some bulbs, a plant, or a packet of seeds? These are everywhere in the stores right now and seeds should be very inexpensive. I found a packet of seeds for each child while grocery shopping.
Here is a search page at Amazon with lots of non-food religious ideas (ignore any weird ones that slip in on the search):
Religious Toy Ideas for Easter