Alternatives to Halloween Candy

Halloween is fast approaching and the kids are getting more and more excited with each passing day.

Halloween used to be one night a year that kids would look forward to all year long, but more and more activities surrounding this ever-popular holiday has it stretching out for an entire month!

There are trunk-or-treat events, school parties and events, church events, mall and downtown parades, community events, pumpkin patch visits, corn maze trips and apple orchard visits ALL complete with C-A-N-D-Y! That’s a whole lot of candy for a month’s time, not to mention the loot kids collect going door-to-door on Halloween night.

We know -- kids get all hyped up over trick-or-treating as they race to get the most candy out of the group. We did it as kids, so we get it! But, that sugar rush and subsequent crash isn't good for kids (or parents) who are trying to pry them off the ceilings or get them to eat something more nutritious. Multiply this scene many times over and over again during the month and you have an overload of the sweet stuff!
So, I’d like to share with you some healthier alternatives than candy to hand out on Halloween:

Healthy Halloween Food Giveaways:

Cereal bars, pretzels or trail mix

Dried fruit, nut and seeds (peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds)

Animal crackers, cheese/gold fish crackers or graham crackers

100 calorie packs of various products

Single serve boxes of ready-to-eat cereal

Raisins and chocolate covered raisins

Fig cookies or real fruit bars

Individual fruit juice (100% juice)

Snack size pudding or applesauce packs

Single-serve, low-fat microwave popcorn packets

Halloween Non-Food Items to Giveaway (also great “allergy free goodies”):

Stickers or temporary tattoos

Yo-yos, bubbles or glow sticks

Bracelets or slap wristbands

Pencils, erasers, crayons, markers or bookmarks

Spooky spider rings, false teeth or funny glasses

Jump ropes, chalk and bouncy balls

Believe it or not, Halloween time can also be a time filled with healthy treats. Children love to be involved with cooking, so this year get your kids involved in some seasonal cooking, the healthy way. They can have their treats and eat them too! Here are 5 great, kid-approved treats the whole family will love:

5 Healthy Kid-Approved Halloween Treats:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: This is an especially great idea if you carve your own pumpkins. Get kids involved and use all parts of the pumpkin. Simply clean seeds, toss with olive oil, and roast in a 375 degree oven until brown. Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals, and a great snack to have on hand on all those Halloween parties.

Popcorn: Instead of making popcorn balls that are usually covered in high fructose corn syrup, season popcorn with a spice blend, load into a plastic glove and wrap up with a colorful ribbon. This makes for a tasty treat and an even more fun presentation.

Baked Apple Chips: With the abundance of apples this time of year, why not make apple chips? These are easy to make and will help the kiddos to get all their recommended daily servings of fruit. Simply slice thin and bake in a 250 degree oven for 2 hours. They come out nice and crisp and are a great swap for potato chips too!

Clementines with faces: Have kids draw faces on clementines in order to resemble carved pumpkins. Use a permanent marker or better yet- decorate them with stickers! Fun for the kiddos to do, and a delicious yet healthy treat to giveaway.

Goblin Apples: Take a green apple and wrap it up with gauze. Place two candy eyes (or any type of plastic eyes will do) to make the apple resemble a goblin. Give away as is, or wrap up with a peanut butter cup for a complete healthy snack!

If you think children get way too much candy over the Halloween holiday, you are not alone! Candy will not only encourage cavities, but will also prevent kids from eating healthier food. There are numerous options out there if you don’t feel right giving away more candy on the most candy filled holiday of the year! Hopefully, one of these ideas struck a chord with you.