It's easier than ever to find fun and tasty Halloween treats that also are nutritious! Store shelves are stocked with kid-friendly favorites — containing whole grains, extra vitamin C, 100-percent fruit juice and added fiber.
Halloween also is a great time to talk with your children about mindful eating. Discuss what it feels like to savor treats. Also, tell them how they might feel if they eat too much candy at once. Explain that you're going to spread out the candy over a period of time.
After trick or treating, have your child make a pile of personal favorites to enjoy. Agree that the rest can be donated to a local shelter or sent in a care package to those serving overseas.
No Need for Tricks — Go with Delicious, Healthy Treats
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
- Mini rice cereal treat bars
- Cereal bars made with real fruit
- Individual fruit cups
- Mini 100-percent fruit juice boxes
- Low-fat pudding cups
- Mini bags of pretzels
Halloween Party? Don’t Get Spooked by the Smorgasbord
Don't let foodborne illness ruin your Halloween party. Make sure your Halloween party buffet of perishable scary treats isn't out for more than two hours at room temperature. To keep cold food cold, fill bowls with ice and place dishes on top.
If possible, avoid snacks containing nuts so children with nut 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.
While trick-or-treating may bring you tons of candy, remember to stay safe and only enjoy factory-wrapped treats unless the person who is offering homemade treats is trustworthy. To avoid harmful bacteria that may contain Salmonella, always serve pasteurized products and avoid unpasteurized juice or apple cider. And don't eat any raw dough or batter when preparing Halloween treats!
For more tips on helping your family eat right during holidays and all year round, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist.