Alternative Halloween Treats
Halloween is a frighteningly delicious time for children to stockpile sugary snacks. So it’s important for parents to limit the amount of candy kids collect and snack on during the trick or treating celebrations. Did you know that consuming too much sugar suppresses immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria? Even consuming just 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about the same as in two 12-ounce sodas) reduces the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria. This effect is seen for at least a few hours after consuming a sugary drink.
There are several things you can do as a parent to reduce candy consumption both before and after the trick or treating. A direct assault on Halloween overload would be to host a Halloween party for your kids complete with costumes and non-food prizes.
Serve up healthy party foods such as fresh vegetables and dips, baked chips and crackers, and cheese and lean meats with whole grain breads for make-it-yourself sandwiches. You can also serve warm apple cider and plenty of water instead of soda and sports drinks.
If you don’t opt for a party, here are some more helpful hints to keep your family from the candy jar:
Don’t buy Halloween candy early: buying it the day before Halloween might save you money as stores are sure to start mark downs. On top of saving money you won’t be tempting your family to eat too much before the trick-or-treating begins.
Divide and conquer. After Halloween, place two or three individually wrapped treats into a plain paper bag. Seal the bags and mark with a date over the next two weeks. Allow your child a treat bag that is marked for each day.
How to keep the candy out of your house altogether? Give out individually packaged non-sugary treats such as nuts, raisins, 100% fruit leathers, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or microwave popcorn.
Some other great suggestions include: mini play dough containers, a mix of inexpensive Halloween-themed toys from craft or home stores; you can even give out spooky toys like rubbery rats or bats, and plastic eyeballs.
All kids get thirsty running around trick or treating so you can even give out mini water bottles.
Some other tips we picked up from some favorite mommy bloggers included: glow sticks or glow necklaces, which are usually packaged 15 to a pack, pencils and mini pads of paper themed for Halloween or even toothbrushes! If you’ve been collecting party favors all year, it’s the time to re-gift! Temporary tattoos or stickers are also always welcomed by kids.
Remember Halloween doesn’t only have to be about sweet treats, there are plenty of alternatives.
Have a happy and safe Halloween and don’t forget to post pictures of your food costumes on our Facebook page.