Halloween is known for being a scary time of year, but as registered dietitians and moms – the most frightening part for us is that the average trick-or-treater consumes about 3 cups of sugar (4,800 calories!) on Halloween night alone.
Eeks! And then there’s still all of the leftover candy to consider.
But don’t fret -here are some techniques to try to keep your kids from overdoing it and a menu of healthy candy swaps that will satisfy your kids’ sweet tooth:
1. Set Limits Ahead of Time
Tell your kids in advance how many/much candy you will permit them to have on Halloween night. This way they will know what to expect and pay attention to what they will have without thinking that they can just dive into their Pumpkin Baskets and eat willy-nilly. Tammy tells her twin daughters in advance that they can have two pieces of candy on Halloween night.
2. Do a Leftover Candy Swap
Keep healthier, yet satisfying treats around the house so your kids aren’t asking for all of their unhealthy Halloween candy throughout the day (and if they do-offer these to satisfy their hunger and sugar craving in a healthier way.)
Healthy Halloween Treat Ideas:
- Popcorn – Popcorn is a perfect healthy snack that can be easily turned indulgent. Toss a few pieces of dark chocolate into the mix and you have a tasty, low-sugar snack packed with antioxidants and whole grains.
- Snack bars – Some snack bars taste so good they can be confused for candy. KIND bars, made with all natural ingredients, are not only healthy but also available in indulgently delicious flavors like KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan and Healthy Grains Bars in flavors like Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Blueberry (which are also gluten-free!). They’re the perfect treat for kids and also a good source of protein.
- Fruit covered in caramel/chocolate - Freeze bananas and drizzle with a tad of melted dark chocolate or cover apples in homemade, low-sugar caramel. These are decadent treats that are lower in sugar and much healthier than your average candy bar.
- Natural fruit snacks/wraps – Trader Joe’s Organic Fruit Wraps are a perfect example of a flavorsome snack that is good for you and your kids. These wraps are 100% fruit and low in sugar.
- Fresh fruit – Always the perfect, healthy treat to offer.
- Pumpkin and yogurt parfait – Kids love parfaits, so simply layer fat-free vanilla yogurt with canned pumpkin mixed with pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Top with a few chocolate chip morsels. (We also like to include a layer of sliced apple that we microwave for 5 minutes with pumpkin pie spice. The sweet juice from the spiced apple makes the parfait even more delish!)
What tips do you have to prevent your kids from overdoing it on all of the Halloween goodies?
The Nutrition Twins work with KIND to help busy Moms provide their families with healthy snacks that they can feel good about.