Halloween Treats Even Parents Will Love

HalloweenWhat a dilemma! You don’t want to contribute to the junk food or childhood obesity problems now rampant in the U.S., but you have to hand out something kids will consider a treat and something their parents will allow them to eat.  Here are some suggestions:


• Don’t give out any fresh fruit or other unwrapped items.  These will wind up in the garbage because of fears of tampering.


• Don’t offer your home-baked goodies to trick or treaters for the same reason as above. Your own brownies are fine for a party at your house (or to give to children who know you well).


• Remember that chocolate has some health benefits and is not bad for kids in reasonable quantities.  Dr. Andrew Weil (the well-known author and TV personality) makes this point:  “Any chocolate combination with nuts or peanut butter ranks highest in calories and fats, while any combination with mint or marshmallows ranks lowest.”  Dr. Greene (on his pediatric website) recommends Endangered Species Bug Bites—bite-size chocolate with trading cards. 


• Parents may not want their kids to have treats that are especially bad for the teeth—caramels, lollipops, taffy, licorice, and artificially flavored “fruit” candies (either hard or chewy). 


• If you’re looking for more nutritious, lower calorie, and lower fat snacks to pass out,  consider these: one-portion size bags of pretzels or popcorn, small boxes of raisins, cereal or granola bars, cheese and cracker packages, pumpkin seeds, juice boxes, raisins (plain or yogurt-coated), Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers, or  Rice Krispies marshmallow treats.  Nuts and peanuts are also nutritious; just be sure the child you’re giving them to isn’t allergic to them. For more ideas, browse in a health food store. 


• You could stay away from food altogether and give away small, inexpensive toys and trinkets. These could include balloons, small notepads, key chains, coloring books, colored chalk, crayons, colored pencils, rubber spiders, whistles, ponytail holders and other hair decorations for girls, trading cards of sports heroes for boys.    Browse in a dollar store or party store for suitable items. Bags created as birthday party give-aways are a good source. If you put them all in a big bowl, kids can choose what they like.


• Remember the mantra:  “Trick or Treats!  Money or Eats.”  Here’s Dr. Weil’s amusing recommendation on money: “You could even take all the money you would normally spend on Halloween candy, convert it into pennies, nickels, and dimes, put it in a big bowl and let each kid grab a handful—which they will probably spend on candy.”  If you get a lot of Halloween traffic, giving money may be much too costly.  But it’s handy to have some coins available just in case you run out of edible snacks. 


For more information on chocolate on this site, click here: http://shelflifeadvice.com/bakery-goods-and-sweets/sweets/chocolate





thriftyfun.com  “Healthy Treats for Halloween”


Food for Thought – University of Illinois Extension  “Healthy Halloween Treats”


ivillage.com  “Healthy Halloween Treats Kids Will Love




Food for Thought – University of Illinois Extension  “Healthy Halloween Treats”



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