The treat in “trick or treat” doesn’t always have to be loaded with sugar, there are healthier Halloween treats you can toss into those pumpkins on Halloween night that won’t make you cringe.
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 family or attend parties there will be treats. Case in point: Grandparents tend to excel in this department, because…you know, they don’t want to deprive their grandkids of the sweet stuff. (wink, wink)
Then, there are 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 thus, we need to navigate accordingly.
So as Halloween approaches, I feel compelled to put a healthier spin on Halloween.
Here’s why I wanted a Healthier Halloween
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. 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…
10 Healthier Halloween Treats (Edible)
If you’re in Toronto, some of these are local as well so it’s a win-win!
- Gogo Quinoa Cookies – 35 guten-free cookies for $12.50 ($0.34 per cookie).
- GimMe Seaweed Snacks – Package of 6 for $7.99 ($1.33 per package).
- Made Good Granola Bars and Balls – 37 bars for $38.92 (~$1 per bar). Available at most grocery outlets and Costco locations.
- Bubly Sparkling Water – 12-pack for $4.97 ($0.41/can)
- Smart Pop – The little bags of popcorn.
- Applesnax Organic Unsweetened Applesauce – I don’t love applesauce as an everyday food because it lacks fiber, it’s a sugar hit, and the environmental impact of plastic cups BUT it’s a better alternative to candy bars. Opt for pure 100% organic apples.
- GoGo squeeZ fruit pouches – For the little ones. 16 Pouches for $9.97 ($0.62 per pouch).
- Smart Sweets Low Sugar Gummies – 10 Packs for $32.99 ($3.20). Less sugar, but a little pricey.
- Swiss Delice Dark Chocolate – $29.60 for a 1.3kg bag of individually wrapped bars.
- Yum Earth Organic Natural Lollipops – $13.95 for an 8.5oz bag. Coloured with food (no artificial dyes).
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!