Remember the days when Mrs. Johnson down the street would make those great, sticky candy apples or dip pretzels in chocolate. I always loved the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies the best. Well, gone are the days when parents could pass out those homemade goodies. Most parents won’t let their kids even open anything that is not individually wrapped from the stores. So, even with all the wonderful nutritional recipes I have found on Pinterest and other sources for Halloween, I can’t make them for trick or treaters.
What are the alternatives that will not put disgusting looks on the kids’ faces, keep parents happy and make me feel like I still have contributed something to the excitement of Halloween trick-or-treats?
I found out there are plenty of individual portion treats – pretzels are one of my favorites. Then, there are non-food items; little collectibles that kids love. Here’s a list of some:
- Decorative pencils
- Glow sticks and
- Crayons, to name a few.
These treats can be really fun to discover when arriving home and spilling all your goodies out on the floor to explore and they last longer than candy. Don’t get me wrong, – candy is ok, if its not overdone. Our challenge today is the fact that our nation has a serious health problem with diabetes, obesity and overweight children. So, if you do choose candy, try to select non-chocolate with fewer calories and less caffeine-stimulants or at least dark chocolate which usually has less sugar and fat than milk chocolate. Examples might include hard candies, jelly types or licorice. Trail mix with dark chocolate and fruit is a great, healthier alternative. Also, pretzels, mini water bottles and whole grain granola bars are good choices. As a parent, try to distribute the candy in moderation.
Keep the excitement of Halloween by using just a little bit of common sense to balance out the night. It’s good for kids to know that healthy snacks can taste good too.
And once you’ve got your treats ready to distribute, make Halloween a family affair, go trick or treating with your kids, you’ll know they’re safe and you’ll burn a few extra calories on the walk!