How can you make a holiday that seems to focus on eating sugary treats, healthier? The era of handing out apples to trick-or-treaters is long gone. There's something about an apple that parents just don't trust when it's handed to their child by a stranger.
And kids don't want apples anyway. They want candy, and lots of it. In fact, these days it seems like everyone wants candy. It's becoming common to have even older teenagers show up at the door now, often with no costume to speak of, asking for candy. Instead of spending a surprising amount of money on candy at the local drugstore and contributing to the massive piles of sugary Halloween candy most children collect, consider these tips for a healthier Halloween:
1. Little boxes of raisins. Yes, they still have sugar in them, but at least they're dried fruit, and are providing some other nutrients and fiber into the mix. Although children may rather see a mini-snickers bar, many have a soft spot for boxes of raisins.
2. Individual juice drink boxes. 100% juice has naturally occurring sugar, but can also provide much-needed vitamins and nutrients.
3. Granola bars. Individually wrapped granola or breakfast bars are a healthier alternative to straight candy bars. They offer a sweet taste, while typically providing protein, vitamins, and minerals.
4. Don't forget gum! Kids still love gum, and sugar free gum can provide the sweetness kids are looking for, without the actual sugar overload.
5. Packets of pretzels. Try getting away from sugar altogether by providing individual pretzel bags. They now come in flavors such as honey mustard, and are low calorie, and can be no-fat!
6. Don't give out snacks at all! Visit your local discount store for pens, tiny flashlights, or toys that you can hand out for a treat that lasts all year round.
It's just once a year, why not just give the kids what they want? One answer is that unless you live in a place with very few neighbors, then the local kids are getting enough candy to last them until Thanksgiving. What's your technique for still providing a fun experience for the little trick-or-treaters, while still staying healthy?
Healthy Halloween Tip:
If you do decide to buy candy, try to buy something you don't like yourself! And think of halloween candy as Christmas presents: you better hide it, or they'll find it way before the fun is scheduled to begin.
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