It’s almost October, which means that you’re probably dreading the Halloween candy rush. While you may have succeeded in keeping your infants ignorant of this spooky candy festival for the first few years of their lives, once they start school it can be difficult to hide Halloween from them.
Now that you are forced to succumb to their demands, get ready for the bags full of candy that they’ll collect while trick or treating. Is there a way out?
You could make a deal with your children to swap out some of the unhealthy candy they collect with better treats and also make it a point to give out healthier alternatives so that the children in your neighborhood don’t binge on dye-coated sugar bombs.
Best and Worst Halloween Treats
While most forms of chocolates and candies are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and food dyes, dieticians and food experts believe that some treats might be healthier than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Halloween treats that you can hand out to children and maybe indulge in, yourself, with slightly lesser guilt:
- Mini or fun-sized candy bars like 3 Musketeers, Snickers and Milky Way have fewer calories and fats when compared to their regular sized versions. Of these, experts believe that the mini 3 Musketeers might be the best, with 24 calories and a mere 0.7 grams of fat.
- With each roll coming in at about 25 calories, Smarties may be a good choice despite its sugar content. The individually packaged rolls are cumbersome to unwrap too, making it difficult to eat a handful.
- Hershey’s Kisses are another adorable option to hand out to children or to satisfy your own afternoon sugar craving. With 22 calories per piece, each classic Hershey’s Kiss has 2.5 grams of sugar and 1.3 grams of fat.
- If you are OK with one night of indulgence, pick Peeps Pumpkin treats that contain only 16 calories and zero fat. The sugar content in these marshmallow treats are slightly higher but might be better than other high-calorie, high-sugar products.
- Dum-Dum lollipops are a fan favorite because of their right size and the average time it takes to finish one lollipop. With nearly 20 calories and 4 grams of sugar, these hard candies may be a good option.
- Jolly rancher candies contain 70 calories and 11 grams of sugar but might be a good option like the lollipop as it can last longer and give a stronger flavor punch.
- While many children may not favor dark chocolate, it may be a good option to serve the adults at your Halloween party or at your workplace. You could consider nuts or dried fruits dipped in chocolate for an extra indulgence.
Though this list has reasonably better candy options, there is, unfortunately, the other side to tackle — the not so healthy options that are found abundantly throughout the season.
Many food experts agree that though candy corn is considered a tradition during Halloween, it may be one of the least healthy options out there.
With a couple of tablespoons amounting to a whopping 140 calories and 28 grams of sugar, you may want to stay away from these brightly colored candies. Next on the list are traditional and more modern style taffy that are typically heavy on fat calories and loaded with sugar.
Healthier Halloween Alternatives
While most store-bought brands may be high in calories and unhealthy ingredients, you could choose to make and supply your own treats.
Pick from made-from-scratch pumpkin cupcakes frosted with low-calorie, low sugar frosting, pretzels dipped in chocolate for a sweet and salty treat, fruit cups made of mini oranges, meringue cookies in spooky shapes, strawberry-white chocolate ghosts or popsicles with candy corn colors (orange juice, pineapple juice and yogurt).
There are various candy and chocolate brands out there that may claim to have healthy ingredients like coconut, nuts and even dark chocolate, but use your due diligence to read through the ingredients and check their nutritional information, understand the composition of unhealthy fats, dyes and sugar to make a sound decision for your kids and the kids who will come knocking on your door.
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Wells, K., & Wells, K. W. (2018, May 02). Healthy Halloween Treats for Trick-or-Treating (Kid Approved). Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/128061/healthy-halloween-treats/
Staff, C. L. (2018, September 11). 50 Spooky and Sweet Halloween Treats. Retrieved from https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1194/halloween-treats/
Morningstar, K., & Swanner, R. (2018, January 04). Healthy Halloween Treats | 13 Recipes. Retrieved from https://www.beachbodyondemand.com/blog/13-healthy-halloween-treats