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
- Whole-grain cheddar flavored crackers
snacks made with 100-percent fruit with added vitamin C
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
- Mini 100-percent fruit juice boxes
- Low-fat pudding
- 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