Halloween is around the corner and parents are cringing at the thought of our kids coming home with all that candy!
It’s rare that my girls get their hands on nutrient-lacking “treats” at home, but they aren’t completely avoidable (or avoided). I explain why we need to keep desserts in the mix here.
Plus, it’s a given that when we have a visit with Nonna and Nonno, or Nana or Papa, there will be treats. Grandparents always come to the rescue in this department, because…you know, they don’t want to deprive their grandkids of the good stuff. (wink)
Then there’s one-off occasions during the year where treats are easily accessible, like Halloween.
With Sienna’s congenital condition (my eldest daughter) we should limit the sweet stuff as much as possible. That goes for all kids (and humans) but we live in a sugar-laden society and so, we need to navigate accordingly.
So as Halloween approached, I was motivated to get creative and put a healthier spin on Halloween.
I wanted a Healthier Halloween
For two reasons:
Firstly, the excitement around Halloween is high. Since sugar-laded treats are historically thrown into the Halloween mix, they become associated with “fun”. In our family we try not to make unhealthy foods (like cookies, ice cream, candy) seem “special”, because special foods become more desired foods. Brownies deserve no more attention and excitement than broccoli does! However, the Halloween fun and sugar-frenzy seem to go hand-in-hand.
Secondly, who says treats have to contain nutrient-lacking ingredients to taste good? As soon as Halloween season approaches store shelves are packed high with assorted candy and chocolate. I do salivate a little as I walk past them, often because I shop while hungry (bad idea), but there are other options!
I know, I know.
There is a time and place for sweets.
I can’t lie. I love my brownies and cookies too, so it wouldn’t be fair to withhold less healthy foods from my kids, especially on Halloween. Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives to your standard Halloween treats.
Here are a few for you to consider…
8 Healthier Halloween Treats (Edible)
If you’re in Toronto, many of these are local as well so it’s a win-win!
- Quinoa Cookies – 25 gluten-free cookies for $6.59 ($0.26 per cookie). Available at Costco.
- New Moon Cookies – 50 cookies for $20 ($0.40 per cookie). Pick up required.
- Sweets from the Earth – 50 nut-free, chocolate chip cookies for $25 ($0.50 per cookie). Pick up or $17 for shipping.
- SeaSnax – Box of 72 packages for $75 ($1.04 per package). Free shipping.
- Made Good Granola Bars – 5 bars for $5 but often you can get them on sale for $4 (~$1 per bar). Available at most grocery outlets and Costco locations.
- Skinny Pop – 30 bags for $30 (~$1 per bag). Online or from Costco. NOTE: better for older children given choking hazard.
- Clementine oranges – Box contains about 25 oranges for $4 to $8 per box (about $0.16 to $0.30 per orange)
- Applesauce – 6 cups for $3 ($0.50 per cup). I don’t love applesauce as an everyday food because it lacks fiber and is a sugar hit, BUT it’s a better alternative to candy bars. Opt for pure 100% organic apples.
10 Healthier Halloween Treats (Non-Edible)
And who says treats have to be edible! A little toy for the kids is a win-win, keeping our little ones entertained and giving parents time to make dinner. Here are a few favourites (much of the credit for these ideas goes to my “Family Nutrition Forum” Facebook Group).
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Winter Mits
- Note pads
- Hair ties/bows
- Swim/Skate passes (They are available in some cities for $5 for a10 pack)
Many of the above can be purchased at Dollarama or a nearby dollar store. Costco carries the Playdoh. You can snag some other non-edible ideas from the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Feel free to put a healthy spin on Halloween this year. Our kids can only eat so many Smarties (ha!) and some sidewalk chalk has a much longer life span.
What are you handing out this Halloween? My brain stopped working after these 18 alternative “treats” so I could use some inspiration!