Home > Public

Your Food and Nutrition Source

It's About Eating Right

In This Section

Latest Infographic

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act establishes strong nutrition policies for child nutrition programs.

Healthy Schools Raise Healthy Kids (Thumb)

View all infographics

Popular Diet Reviews

More Diet Reviews »
Calculate your BMI
Featured Product

Special Feature

More Info
Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed. (Single Copy)

Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed. (Single Copy)

This easy to read “survival guide” outlines essential information for people diagnosed with Celiac disease.

Tricks for Healthful Halloween Treats

October Feature Pumpkin Pail

Reviewed by Wendy Marcason, RD, LDN

Ironman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spiderman, Elsa or Olaf … you never know who will come knocking on your door this Halloween. Make sure you're prepared with a treat fit for a superhero or princess.

While being the house on the block that gives out full-size candy bars might make you instantly popular, it's easier than ever to find Halloween treats to make kids happy while looking out for their health. Grocery store shelves are stocked with kid-friendly favorites containing whole grains, extra vitamin C, 100-percent fruit juice and added fiber.

This year, consider mixing up the candy bowl with some of these items that kids will enjoy and you can feel good about serving. All of these items are available in easy to distribute snack-size packages, too.

  • Whole-grain cheddar flavored crackers
  • Fruit snacks made with 100-percent fruit with added vitamin C
  • Fruit leathers made with 100-percent fruit
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Animal-shaped graham crackers made without trans fat
  • Mini rice cereal treat bars
  • Cereal bars made with real fruit
  • Individual fruit cups
  • Mini 100-percent fruit juice boxes
  • Low-fat pudding cups
  • Baked, unsalted bags of pretzels

Remember to read the labels when buying these snacks to be sure they are the healthiest choices. For example, check to see that fruit snacks, fruit leathers, cereal bars and juice boxes are made with 100-percent real fruit; animal crackers are made without trans fats and that cheddar crackers are made with whole grains. If possible, avoid snacks containing nuts so Elsas and Olafs with food allergies can have a happy Halloween, too.

When in doubt, non-food handouts, such as Halloween pencils, pens, stickers, tattoos and spider rings, are another option for your trick-or-treaters. And if you just can’t resist handing out candy, opt for bite-sized candy bars. As with any treat, candy can be a part of children's healthful eating plans — in moderation.

To avoid cavities and sick tummies, parents and kids should agree ahead of time on how much and when candy can be consumed each day. When kids get home from trick-or-treating, have - them sort their candy into piles of "favorites" and "not so favorites" and let your children choose a few favorites to enjoy right then. Don't forget what a workout trick-or-treating can be. Your kids can burn quite a few calories walking (sometimes in heavy costumes) and climbing up and down stairs!

Reviewed October 2014