Trick or Treat! Healthier Halloween Snacks

October 18, 2010

Halloween is a frighteningly delicious time for children to stockpile sugary snacks.

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 their trick or treat celebrations.

There are several things you can do as a parent to protect your kids and the rest of your family from sugar overloads both before and after the trick or treating has begun. 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, 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.

If you don’t opt for a party, here are some more helpful hints to keep yourself from the candy jar:

Don’t buy Halloween candy early; buying it the day before Halloween you might be able to save money as stores mark it down. Plus you won’t be tempting your family to eat too much before the trick-or-treating even starts.

Divide and conquer. After Halloween, place two or three individually wrapped treats into a plain paper bag. Seal the bags closed and mark with a dates over the next two weeks. Allow your child a treat bag that is marked for each day.

Give out individually packaged non-sugary treats such as nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, microwave popcorn. Be sure to have some treats available for children who may have allergies to peanuts or other nuts.

Here are some treats from our Hits & Misses feature worthy of a Halloween trick:

Surf Sweets Candy although they have 22 grams of sugar per serving will certainly satisfy your sweet craving. Surf Sweets are made with organic fruit juice and fortified with 100% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium and vitamin C in 16 pieces (half a bag) – oh, and they are also gluten free and vegan. They are not sickeningly sweet and are designed for an adult palette.

Clif Bar Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Flavor follows the Clif Bar tradition. Not too sweet, not too salty with a crispy texture that is very satisfying. There’s a reason that Clif Bar keeps growing, they understand the balance between good health and good taste.

Endangered Species Chocolate Bars are a great-tasting chocolate bar that benefits endangered species of the world. This company donates 10% of their profits to the protection of these animals. In addition, they use cocoa beans that are shade-grown and organic and they are part of the Fair Trade movement! This chocolate bar contains 88% cocoa – the darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content, which means more antioxidants! The company has 18 varieties with everything from Bat Bars to Salmon Bars.

Revolution Foods Organic Mashups Squeezable Fruit are a great alternative to candy bars for kids. Basically this is apple purée flavored with grape concentrate and pear puree it does taste like grape flavor, but frankly it needs a little bit more of the grape flavor. I love the fact that 3% of the net revenue goes to “Healthy School Lunches” feeding kids in underserved schools.

YummyEarth Organic Lollipops are not only all natural but they are also USDA certified organic, which makes them even more appealing to parents looking for sweet treats to give their little ones. These lollipops have great flavor and are made with real bits of fruit. We found that taking the lemon flavor and stirring it in water actually infused the water with a rich flavor – try that with an ordinary

Sun Cups have a dark chocolate outside surrounding a sunflower seed butter inside and is very tasty. Each cup is just 115 calories and 7 grams of sugar, but does have 8 grams of fat. The cacao is Rainforest Alliance certified and because of the special packaging you can put this outer package in your compost at home. It is the perfect alternative for those with a peanut allergy to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.