Halloween has not been cancelled! Here are some healthy alternatives to Halloween candy if you choose to celebrate Halloween this year.
Healthy Foods to Substitute for Traditional Halloween Candy:
- Make your own sinister snacks. Kids love gross things. Use cookie cutters to design homemade cookies in shapes like ghosts and bats. Bake gingerbread zombies with missing limbs. You can adjust the conventional recipes to lower the sugar and substitute whole grain flour for half the white flour.
- Kids will also love to eat fruit and vegetables if you arrange them right. Peel grapes so that they look like eyeballs. Make a skeleton shape out of carrot sticks and sliced vegetables.
- Try sugar free or organic candy and gum. If you want to serve candy, try sugar free or organic brands. Read the labels to check on any chemicals you want to avoid and to find out how much sugar they contain. Sugar free gum is especially good to help keep dental plaque from forming if your kids eat any sugary candy. It stimulates saliva and can help fight tooth decay.
- Hand out healthier foods. If you can figure out a way to hand out treats while social distancing, there are lots of nutritious food options. Focus on sturdy fruits and vegetables like baby carrots, raisins, apples, oranges, or bananas. Try pre-packaged cheese sticks or make your own packets of nuts.
- Beware of cereal bars that may have as much sugar and fat as candy.
- Create your own trail mix with granola, nuts, and dried fruit.
- The sophisticated older child may even like seaweed or unsalted soy nuts.
- Serve hot chocolate or juice. Water is the best way to quench your kid’s thirst, but controlled portions of other liquids can also be reasonable choices. Small servings of hot chocolate will provide some warmth if the weather has already turned cold.
- Individual juice boxes with straws will provide hydration and vitamins while keeping sugary drinks from sticking to your kid’s teeth.
Other Healthy Halloween Festivities and Ideas:
- Consider alternatives to trick or treating. More and more parents are choosing healthy and safe alternatives to trick or treating. These are some party ideas that switch the focus away from the candy.
- Have a Social Distance Costume Parade. Dressing up is a huge part of the holiday. Let the kids show off their costumes (while keeping six feet apart). Dream up creative categories so that everyone gets a prize. You could honor the best princess costume based on a movie and the princess with the prettiest shoes.
- Tell scary stories in a haunted house. Halloween is supposed to be creepy. Turn your basement into a dungeon or make your backyard look like a cemetery. Practice some ghost stories or encourage the group to make up their own as they go along. Plant appropriate sound effects and props to enhance the scary parts.
- Indulge your creative side. There are all kinds of holiday crafts you can enjoy with your kids. Get free ideas at the library or online. You can decorate pumpkins, make scarecrows or do some face painting.
- Hand out non-food treats. Whether you trick or treat or throw a party, you can hand out treats and favors other than candy. Give children stickers, temporary tattoos, coins, pencil toppers or small novelty toys. Black toothbrushes will come in especially handy this time of year. Just make sure there are no choking hazards for very young kids.
There are healthy alternatives to Halloween candy that will keep your kids happy and your dental bills down. Make this Halloween good and scary for you and your family.