This year, surprise the Easter Bunny with painted potatoes – an affordable, nutritious pantry staple.
Denver – Families love their tried-and-true Easter traditions, but sometimes, you just need to scramble things up. This year, due in part to skyrocketing food prices, Potatoes USA reports that families are hopping on the newest trend and painting Easter potatoes.
You heard that right: 2023 is the year of the Easter potato.
As it turns out, there are lots of upsides to brushing up on your spud art. In addition to being an affordable, nutritious pantry staple, potatoes are an excellent canvas for family activities.
“As a mom of two kids, I’m constantly looking for new activities. The idea of painting potatoes made me laugh, but honestly, it’s really fun,” said Marisa Stein, director of marketing at Potatoes USA. “My kids loved experimenting with different designs. It was silly and a great way to spend time with my family.”
Across the internet, families are giving their best tips for family-friendly crafting, featuring everyone’s favorite vegetable. Some use edible paint and water-based food coloring to dye their potatoes and eat them, too. Artists can give potatoes a food coloring bath for a lighter color or paint the food coloring directly on the spud for a vibrant alternative.
Other families are using traditional paint from their local craft store or dollar store to paint fun decorative potatoes to showcase their artistic accomplishments. Like with carving pumpkins at Halloween, the potato’s long shelf-life makes it an excellent opportunity to display fun showpieces in a friendly painting contest.
For the best results, here are a few tips for your Picasso potato:
- Cover your workspace with newspapers or plastic tablecloths so you can embrace the painting process without worrying about the cleanup.
- Gloves are a great way to keep little hands clean from food dye or paint.
- If you’re using food coloring, painting the food coloring on will result in the most vibrant color. If you don’t want the color to rub off, and you’re fine keeping the potatoes purely decorative, a coat of hairspray can seal the color and keep the dye from bleeding.
- If you use regular paint, a white primer coat will make the colors pop!
- Make sure the painted potatoes have fully dried before you move them.
For an extra activity, parents can cut the potatoes in half and carve them to make Easter stamps! Once the adults have carved the pattern, kids can paint the potato stamps and use their creations to make fun Easter-themed paintings on paper.
As an added bonus, potatoes are a great option for scavenger hunts in the backyard. The Easter Bunny doesn’t have to worry about hiding their spuds a little too well, since anything the tater hunters miss is biodegradable. (Just be sure to keep dogs away, as raw potatoes can make them sick.)
Parents are loving potatoes for their Easter activities this year due to their affordable price points and lack of prep work. Potatoes work best as an artistic medium in their natural state, so no boiling or set-up is needed to make them canvas ready. Plus, they’re tough against falls and drops for younger (and mess-prone) artists.
“I’m thrilled to see so many families hopping aboard this new trend,” said Bonnie Johnson, R.D., director of nutrition and industry relations, Potatoes USA. “As a dietitian, I love seeing families embrace vegetables in creative ways. Making potatoes a fun part of your holiday will help children learn to love the spud – and all its incredible nutritional benefits.”
In addition to their more creative side, potatoes also shine as a nutritious pantry staple. Research published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that potatoes have the highest score per dollar on eight important nutrients including potassium, fiber, protein, vitamins C and E, calcium, iron and magnesium. Potatoes also have a longer shelf life than many fresh vegetables.
Be sure to visit PotatoGoodness.com to learn more about the many health benefits of potatoes and find some delicious spring recipes.
If your Easter bunny hops on the #easterpotatoes trend this year, send us your photos! Tag @PotatoGoodness on Facebook or Instagram.
About Potatoes USA
Potatoes USA is the national marketing and promotion board representing U.S. growers and importers. Potatoes USA, the largest vegetable commodity board, was established in 1971 by potato farmers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. For more information on Potatoes USA’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for Potatoes,” visit PotatoesUSA.com.
 Drewnowski A. New metrics of affordable nutrition: which vegetables provide most nutrients for least cost? J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Sep;113(9):1182-7.