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October 26, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 5 Faves: 0

Trick-or-... Juicy Juice? Healthy Halloween Treat Options

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Sugar seeking witches & goblins will soon be knocking on your door, haunting your doorstep with a ghoulish, Trick-or-Treat! Rather than adding to their sugar buzz with nutrient-poor candy, consider switching things up this Halloween and offer your visitors a healthier prize. This way you will be chopping two carrots with one knife - helping to create a more nutritious child and reducing the anxiety of their parents. It is a win-win situation! (For those of you who are a bit hesitant, please stay tuned to the next blog!)

Here are a few tricks and treats that are sure to satisfy the spookiest of visitors: 

  • Fruit. It has already been pre-packaged by Mother Nature herself.
  • Individually packaged peanuts or trail mix (be careful of the youngest trick-or-treaters as choking hazards must be considered)
  • Box of raisins or dried cranberries (ditto with the choking hazard)
  • Money
  • Hot cocoa packet
  • Fruit leather
  • 100% Juice Box
  • Snack-size popcorn bags
  • Small book
  • Snack size pretzels
  • Crayons
  • Bubbles
  • Glow-in-the-dark bracelet
  • Mini Rice Krispie Treats
  • Fruit snacks made with real fruit juice
  • Sugarless gum
  • Packaged peanut butter or cheese sandwich crackers
  • Mini cereal boxes (Frosted Mini-Wheats are easy for little fingers to grab and enjoy!)
  • Granola bars (Clif Kidz)
  • 100 Calorie snacks
  • Animal crackers

If you’re worried that offering a healthy treat will result in a lovely yard full of toilet paper come morning, I have just the trick. You can encourage nutritious options, while still ensuring your feisty visitors are kept happy by offering a combination of both healthy and candy options. You may be surprised at the number of visitors who opt for a nutrient packed treat!

Finally, even if you are offering candy there are certainly options which are healthier than others. Substitute dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, as dark comes with a boost of antioxidants - Mounds anyone? And, of course, those snacks containing fruit (Raisinets) or nuts (chocolate covered of course!) offer a touch of nutrition to help justify the sugary indulgence. Portion control is also a major factor: rather than offering a king-size candy bar, opt for the bite-size version. You will not only save a child from sugar overload, but you'll also save some of your hard-earned money. 

Hope you enjoyed these tasty substitutions!

What do you offer your trick-or-treaters? 

More from Health Coach Jessica Corwin MPH RDN Others Are Reading

5 Comments

  • I like your idea of providing them options of a healthy snack and a not as healthy snack. My husband and I are in a neighborhood that actually does trick-or-treating so I'm excited to hand out candy for the first time! I've lived in apartments for the past 5 years during college, so of course there was no trick-or-treating there. Thanks for these recommendations Jessica.

  • Without neighbors for miles in either direction, we don't anticipate trick or treaters this years, but when we've lived in neighborhoods, I always offered a mix of candy and halloween toys I picked up at a local party supply store. They have all those same sort of little prizes you find at Chuck-E-Cheese and school carnivals, but in bags for the same price or better than a bag of candy! Last time I picked up a variety - fake vampire teeth, little parachute skeleton guys, spider rings and gooey eyeballs to add to the mix of butterfingers and my favorite fruity candies. You'd be surprised how many picked the toys!

    I do like the idea of offering healthy treats though. Fruit leather is so yummy, who cares if it's nutritious?! ;)

  • http://www.salon.com/2011/10/26/the_war_on_halloween/

    Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote an informative piece about Halloween candy today for Salon.com.

  • As someone who comes home with tons of candy I appreciate the non candy items. To be honest the house handing out glow sticks tends to be the one that my kids can't wait to get back to the next year. Lets hope they continue for a while!!

  • Julie, I love glow sticks! That house would have been my favorite, too :)

    Bri, enjoy your first trick-or-treating visitors! You'll have to let us know about your fave costumes of the night!

    Erin, you are always right on the ball when it comes to health and balance! Love it :)

    Thanks for sharing the article, John!

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