Candy and costumes and pumpkins, oh my! Halloween is near and it's important to mix in healthy alternatives with the sweet treats you find this time of year. Try these Halloween alternatives to help find a healthy balance:
Enjoy Candy in Moderation
Enjoy candy and sweet treats in moderation since they have a lot of calories but few nutrients. Practice portion control by eating candy over a period of time while keeping the candy out of sight to avoid mindless eating. Pick out your favorite candy, and enjoy a few pieces each day. Offer a smaller serving such as fun-size candy or splitting a candy bar. Try eating a piece of candy with a glass of milk or apple slices to get some extra nutrients. Hand out healthier snacks to trick-or-treaters such as individual packages of pretzels, dried fruit, unsweetened applesauce, animal crackers, trail mix, or 100% juice boxes. Make every bite count, and choose foods that are rich in nutrition more often.
Offer Non-Food Treats
Non-food treats are a great idea for trick-or-treaters looking for something fun and allows children with food allergies to safely enjoy trick-or-treating. If offering non-food treats, join the Teal Pumpkin Project® by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), which raises awareness of food allergies while creating a safer, happier Halloween for all children. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available for trick-or-treaters. Don't forget to keep your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls. Offer candy or a non-food item for each trick-or-treater to choose.
Options for non-food treats include:
- Glow bracelets or necklaces
- Fun pencils, crayons or erasers
- Novelty jewelry such as bead necklaces, rings or bracelets
- Stickers or rubber stamps
- Slinky toys
- Temporary tattoos
Make Your Own Healthier Treats
When you make food at home, you are in control of the ingredients and portions. Choose recipes that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and/or lean protein while limiting added sugars, saturated fat and sodium for healthier options. Serve fruit as a naturally sweet dessert or snack instead of foods with added sugars.
Halloween Fruit Parfaits utilize the natural sweetness of pineapple and mandarin oranges topped with Greek yogurt to add protein and calcium. One piece of candy corn is added for a festive healthy snack or dessert. Make this simple fruit parfait with a Halloween twist for your family and friends.
- 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, drained
- 2 cans (15 ounces) mandarin oranges in water, no sugar added, drained
- 2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Drain pineapple tidbits and mandarin oranges.
- Layer 1/3 cup pineapple tidbits, 1/3 cup mandarin oranges and 1/3 cup yogurt in a bowl or cup.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- Select fruit canned in 100% fruit juice or water rather than syrup when choosing canned fruits.
- Try fresh fruit in place of canned fruit.
- Swap out any yellow and orange fruit you like best such as using peaches or cantaloupe for mandarin oranges.
- Serving Size (1 parfait):
- Calories 180
- Total Fat 0g
- Saturated Fat 0g
- Cholesterol 1mg
- Sodium 45mg
- Total Carbohydrates 44g
- Fiber 3g
- Total Sugars 31g, includes 9g Added Sugars
- Protein 3g
- Vitamin D 6%
- Calcium 10%
- Iron 0%
- Potassium 8%