10 Healthy Halloween Treats That Won’t Lead To Tricks
There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to dispensing Halloween candy. The first group believes in the magic of the Halloween holiday, and thinks that children should be allowed a day of unrestrained sugar consumption for the sake of carrying on tradition.
On the other side, there are those who assert that, with childhood obesity on the rise, it’s irresponsible to contribute to the health crisis by handing out free Halloween candy. It’s either bags of baby carrots and a new toothbrush, or staying home with the porch light off and passing out nothing.
There is a happy medium. If you give out the right treats, you can please children and your conscience on Halloween. The trick is to stock up on products that have less sugar and more nutrients, yet are snacks kids might actually choose for themselves.
Choose one or more of these healthier Halloween treat options for guilt-free treat giving:
- Microwave Popcorn
Kids tend to get excited when their Halloween treat is a large size, so individual bags of un-popped popcorn will fit the bill. A few companies like Act II sell mini bags with a Halloween theme, or you can download a template to make any popcorn look festive for the holiday.
- Apple Chips
Apples may lead to toilet paper yard decorations in these days of junk food mania, but apple chips split the difference between nutrition and crunchy snack food. Nature’s Envy sells single-serve packs, or you can make your own apple chips to give to family and friends.
- Wheat Crackers
Wheat crackers might seem a little “blah” compared to the razzmatazz Halloween packaging of their cheese-blasted snack counterparts. Seek packaged wheat crackers in fun, kid-friendly shapes, like Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, made with real ingredients in individual serving bags.
4. Juice Boxes
Even kids who whine over receiving a juice box in their treat pail will be grateful for it when their costume gets too hot and the trick-or-treating starts to wear them down. Chances are, most kids will down their thirst-quenching juice before they even get home. (Check labels for 100% juice.)
- Fruit Snacks
Fruit leather, fruit roll-ups and character-shaped fruit snacks have become so common in lunchboxes that a lot of children are used to thinking of them as treats rather than health food. Choose wisely and steer clear of the fruit snacks with added sugar and fats or you might as well pass out candy.
- Sugar-Free Cocoa
Passing out sugar-free cocoa packs is a unique way to give trick-or-treaters a chocolate fix without all the added sugar, with the extra-added bonus that they can’t just feast on it straight out the candy bucket. Moms and Dads can make the treat part of a special Halloween breakfast or snack.
- Sugar-Free Pudding Cups/Fruit Cups
Lunchbox-friendly fruit cups and pudding cups are a treat that kids will actually be allowed to bring to school, and the varieties run the gamut from caramel pudding to strawberry applesauce. Look for all-natural varieties for the most nutrition, and make sure fruit cups aren’t packed in heavy syrup.
- String Cheese
Packed with protein, string cheese isn’t just a healthier choice for the young ones, but it’s also an interactive snacking event for those who can’t help playing with their food. Kids love shredding their cheese into strings and eating it like spaghetti.
- Mini Cereal Boxes
A single-serve cereal box just might be the only treat from the Halloween candy bucket that parents will let their kids have first thing in the morning. Look for low or no-sugar varieties, or all-natural cereals like the single-serve cups from Kashi.
- Small Toys
Don’t be afraid to mix non-edibles into your treat bowl. Small rubber snakes, glow-in-the-dark skulls and plastic insects add creepy fun, and you’ll find that some trick-or-treaters will avoid the candy as they dig around for the coolest toys.