10 Healthy and Fun Halloween Treats to Hand Out
After Christmas, Halloween is the next most popular holiday of the year. Why? One word: Candy! Americans spend more than $2 billion dollars on Halloween treats, according to IBISWorld. About three-quarters of U.S. homes will be handing out candy (or other goodies) to pint-sized pirates and princesses, and some 72 percent of both young and old say chocolate is their all-time favorite Halloween treat. This year, try these 10 goblin and ghoul-pleasing treats — and a few tricks — that aren’t (nutritionally) scary.
Magic Potion Pretzels
Give your neighborhood ghouls and boys a hearty, no-fat, no-added sugar tasty treat with Snyder’s of Hanover pumpkin-themed snack packs. You won’t be loading kids’ treat bags with added sugars and at just 50 calories per pack, they’re ideal for tiny tummies. Ghoulishly Great Facts: Snyder’s of Hanover Halloween Snack Packs (half-ounce pack) 50 calories, zero grams of fat and zero grams of sugar.
Not-So-Scary Snack Bars
Instead of granola or energy bars, hand out KIND bars, which are made from wholesome ingredients like nuts, whole grains and dried fruit that provide protein, fiber and unsaturated fats. Trick-or-treaters will be thrilled with a full-size bar, and you can feel good about the essential nutrients they provide. They won’t have all the added sugar and artificial ingredients commonly found in energy bars. Ghoulishly Great Facts: KIND Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan (one bar) 200 calories, 16 grams of fat and five grams of sugar.
Throw fun toy tricks in with healthier treats and let kids take both an edible and non-edible choice — or the option of two tricks for incentive. A study from Yale University found that children are just as excited about getting a toy as they are candy. Ghoulishly Great Ideas: Scary stickers, spooky school supplies (erasers and pencils), bracelets, stickers, temporary tattoos, bouncy balls and glow sticks.
Frightening Fruit Leathers
Kiddos are accustomed to receiving sweet goodies on Halloween but that doesn’t mean they have to be chock-full of questionable ingredients. Stretch Island Fruit Leathers are made with fruit purees (and that’s it). Each strip has a quarter-cup of fruit. They’re available in sweet and tart flavors including Autumn Apple, Abundant Apricot, Ripened Raspberry, Harvest Grape and Orchard Cherry. Ghoulishly Great Facts: Stretch Island Fruit Co. Fruit Leathers (one strip) about 50 calories, one gram of fiber and zero grams of fat.
Larabar Mini Monsters
With flavors like Cherry Pie, Cashew Cookie and Apple Pie, these mini munchies are perfect for Halloween handouts. Deliciously (yet naturally) sweet, you’d never know these are made with just dried fruit and nuts. Each bar has 100 calories or less making them an ideal snack for little ghosts and goblins.
Bloodcurdling Bunny Grahams
Perfect for tiny hands, Annie’s Bunny Graham Friends snack packs are delicious Honey, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate grahams with a crispy crunch made with eight grams of whole grains and two grams of protein per pack. Ghoulishly Great Facts: Annie’s Bunny Graham Friends (one-ounce pack) 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat (zero grams of saturated fat) and six grams of sugar.
Treats For Toys and Treasures
After kids have a chance to take stock and revel in all of their Halloween treats, some parents offer a trade-in program that includes the option of selling some of their candy back for money or toys or other things their child really wants. For example, you could say that every 10 or 20 pieces given up, equals a new toy. As an added bonus, you can create an event out of packaging up their extra candy and taking it to a local children’s hospital, homeless shelter or food kitchen. Ghoulishly Great Bonus: Getting children involved in giving back can be a great life lesson.
In The Dark…Chocolate
Dark chocolate naturally contains more beneficial antioxidants and less added sugars — that’s why it has a stronger flavor and is less sweet than milk chocolate. While the vast majority of miniature and fun-size chocolates are made with milk chocolate, there are a few dark options for those in the know. For example, Endangered Species Non-GMO Project Verified Dark Chocolate Bug Bites is one of the best picks. Ghoulishly Great Facts: Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bug Bites (one piece) 50 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 2.5 grams of sugar.
Snack Packs of “Nature’s Candy”
You can’t go wrong with mini boxes of raisins for tiny trick-or-treaters. The half-ounce boxes have about 50 calories and no added sugars. The traditional snack-size boxes are one ounce and have about 100 calories. What’s more, a recent University of Toronto study found kids reported feeling fuller and ate fewer calories at their next meal when they snacked on raisins compared to other popular snacks. Ghoulishly Great Facts: Sun-Maid Raisins (half-ounce box) 45 calories, 10 grams of sugar and no added sugars.
Haunted Hershey’s Kisses
Hershey’s Kisses are a great option for Halloween because of their diminutive portion size. Choose Kisses with Almonds as you’ll get the nutrients present in almonds in addition to the chocolate. Ghoulishly Great Facts: Hershey’s Kisses (one piece) 22 calories, one gram of fat and 2.5 grams of sugar.
What do you hand out for Halloween? Do you try to offer healthier options? If so, what are some of your favorites?
This holiday season, get a head start on all of the candy, turkey and candied yams by trying one of our 5 Fall menus that include Low Carb, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and our traditional Healthy Mix. They are all dietitian-approved and are calorie and portion controlled so you won’t have to worry about stuffing yourself.