Candy is the trademark for Halloween trick-or-treaters. But’s change that trend with some healthier snack options–packaged and ready to go.
Trick or treat with these healthy eats
BY CHERISH KOMINEK, RD, LD
Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that you were at the store buying school supplies? Now aisles are filled with costumes, pumpkins, and candy. That’s right, fall is here and Halloween is creeping up. Halloween brings out the kid in all of us, but what’s not to love about getting dressed up, parading around the neighborhood and eating all the candy in one night that your mom said you couldn’t have all year? Right now, you’re either experiencing a tummy ache or a nightmare just thinking about all that tooth-decaying, weight-gaining sugar. But before you find yourself in a sugar coma, we have some ideas to help you and your kids avoid those problems and enjoy a fun and healthy Halloween.
Remember that person who tried to harm trick-or-treaters and made it unsafe for all of us to hand out homemade treats at Halloween? We don’t either, but it’s a fact that unwrapped or homemade treats are viewed as a bad trick in today’s world. So how do we make Halloween healthy when the only thing that seems to be on the store shelves is candy, candy, and more candy? Consider passing out these healthier treats to those super-heroes and princesses waiting at your door.
- Small boxes of raisins
- Small packages of peanuts
- Nuts in the shell
- Small rice cereal bars
- Small packages of cheese and crackers
- Small packages of peanut butter and crackers
- Mini bags of popcorn
- Mini juice boxes
- Sugar-free gum
- Plastic spider rings
- Halloween pencils
Even though you don’t hand out homemade goodies to trick-or-treaters, you can serve them at your own Halloween party. So use this time to unleash the ghost of creativity. What kind of Halloween party doesn’t give kids the chance to bob for apples? Let them mix their own trail mix of pretzels, cereal, nuts, raisins, and candy corn. Dip strawberries in whipped cream to make mini ghosts, using chocolate chips for the eyes. And whatever you do, don’t forget the popcorn balls. Be sure to check out the recipe below for another great idea.
When your kids come home with buckets full of candy, don’t shriek so loudly. Enjoy the candy–preferably in moderation. It might be a good idea to spread the candy out over the next several weeks after Halloween and try serving it in combination with something that provides more nutritional value, like a piece of fruit. Don’t let the fall be a haunting one; it’s a season to be enjoyed by the family and be a healthy one, too.
Ingredients: round crackers, peanut butter, thin pretzel sticks, raisins
1. Spread peanut butter on one side of two Ritz crackers.
2. Break four pretzel sticks in half to create the eight spider legs.
3. Place the eight pretzel sticks in the peanut butter on one cracker to create spider legs.
4. Sandwich the pretzel sticks by placing the second cracker on top with the peanut butter side facing up.
5. Arrange the raisins in the peanut butter of the top cracker to make the spider’s face.
Cherish Kominek is a registered dietitian with the WIC program in Gainesville, Texas.