I know, I know, Halloween is not at all about being healthy. It's about dressing up and going around the neighborhood with friends, and being spooky and silly and getting lots of sweet treats kids get to enjoy for a long time. But, since my kid has severe food allergies (lots of them), I have to read every single label and sensor every treat she gets, and it strikes me that so much candy must get thrown out every year, if nothing else because every kid around would have a million cavities each November otherwise. And this got me thinking that if some of the treats were healthier, maybe kids could hang onto and enjoy even MORE of them.
Serving up healthier treats does not have to be totally boring. Think of all the things your kids enjoy each day that are delicious but also not 90% sugar, like the things you probably give them for school snacks. Those make great treats too, I think. Here is my list of our favorite healthier (and more allergen friendly) Halloween treats you could consider including this year for your kids and neighbors:
1) Granola Bars with chocolate chips or dried berries
2) Small boxes of dried fruit like raisins, craisins, apples, mangos or cherries
3) Fresh apples (wrap these in cellophane so they don't get tossed and stay fresher)
4) Snack-packs of things like honey grahams, cheddar bunnies, veggie puffs, Pirate Booty, pretzels and any other snacks made from grains that come in small packets and kids love
5) Fruit roll-ups, fruit strips or fruit rope
6) Gummy candies with vitamin C
7) Oatmeal cookies
8) Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
9) I know this sounds insane, but seaweed packs or kale chips - all the kids I know are addicted to these healthy, salty snacks right now
10) Small boxes of chocolate milk, strawberry milk or vanilla milk. It's sweet but hey, at least it's got lots of protein too.
I also like to include non-food items in goody bags that anyone can enjoy, regarless of any health or dietary restrictions, such as tattoos, cheap costume jewelry like spider rings or beaded necklaces, stickers, glow in the dark items (whatever is on sale), and small toys you can buy in large packs that kids enjoy like yo-yos, dice, fun pens or pencils, noise-makers, balloons, small bouncy balls, and other things you can find in a 25 cent vending machine, for instance.
Do you hand out any healthier Halloween treats, and non-food treats, or do you stick with traditional candy?