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For parents, Hallowen can mean dealing with sugared-up little goblins for weeks. While Halloween is the peak season for candy consumption in the US, kids get plenty year-round. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that 17% of calories consumed by 6 to 17 year olds comes from added sugars—shockingly as much as 22 teaspoons per day!
We all know the health risks associated with excessive sugar and high fructose corn syrup consumption, but it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid when you can find sugar hidden in everything from ketchup to salad dressing. A good place to start cutting back is obvious…like that ever-alluring candy. But it’s Halloween, and no one wants to be the scrooge passing out dental floss.
The good news is there are lots of delicious (and healthy) Halloween treats that will pass the treat-or-treater test and earn the parental seal of approval.
Here’s what we’re passing out this year:
Parents will thank you for this one—with costume accessories, candy buckets and little siblings to carry, “I’m thirsty!” is one of the last things they wanna hear! Toss a few 100% juice boxes in with the rest of your loot.
Treats made from 100% fruit without added sugars are a great way to meet candy demands while still staying healthy. Shop your supermarket to find individually wrapped fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups and even squeezable pouches of applesauce in fun packaging! Some great options include: Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, Mott’s Applesauce Pouch, GoGo Squeez Applesauce on-the-go, or FruitaBu rolls and ropes.
Mix it up by throwing Halloween-themed toys and trinkets into your bucket. With the same varieties of candy offered at house after house, I’ve always found that my trick-or-treaters are delighted to find Halloween pencils, spider rings, glow-in-the-dark snacks, squishy bugs and rats, bouncy balls and stickers.
Single-serving bags of nuts like almonds and pistachios are a high-protein and fiber-rich treat to keep little tummies satisfied. You can usually find a great selection at your local discount warehouse like Sam’s Club or Costco.
Fueling up on healthy and filling foods before you head out on your trick-or-treat route can also help limit candy consumption. There are so many creative ways to make your family’s favorite foods with a scary twist!