Healthy Alternatives to Traditional Halloween Candy – They Exist!

By John Rose, October 28, 2015, Events & Fun, Green

Let’s cut to the chase: it’s a wildly unpopular concept to supplant the time-honored tradition of handing out candy at Halloween. But when you consider the ballooning rates of childhood obesity and a greater awareness of food allergies, it might just be time for a change.

Healthy Alternatives to Traditional Halloween Candy - They Exist!

Halloween goodies don’t have to be bad for you. It just means you have to get creative!

It’s difficult to imagine a Halloween without any candy, but even as an adult, I battle the “Just One More” syndrome, since each desk at my wife’s job has a bowl of yummy, sugary goodness. And to be totally honest, my biggest fear is the thought of hoards of angry kids toilet papering our trees should we choose to not hand out traditional Halloween candy. I decided to investigate how to best undertake this crusade for the betterment of humankind.

Go With the Basics

Healthy foods are about as attractive to a dressed-up child as a flat tire is to a grown-up. And long gone where we feel comfortable giving and receiving homemade goods from strangers around the neighborhood. Thus, it’s essential to find a balance between nutrition and desirability. My suggestion? Go with the stuff kids already love (whether they know it or not): fruits and nuts.

Nuts are a fantastic source of protein, and while a bit pricey (as if the big bags of Halloween candy weren’t now-a-days), they are an excellent idea. If you go with the honey roasted variety (or anything besides plain or basic salted), you might have a hit on your hands.

Dried fruit is also a good option for the young ones. And it you’re careful with the presentation, they won’t even know you gave them nutritious vittles as opposed to hyperactivity-inducing bags of sugar-filled insanity.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

A movement that has gained traction over the last few years is the Teal Pumpkin Project™*. This truly is an exercise in thoughtfulness. Participating houses paint a pumpkin teal and place it by their door to let children and parents know that this house has non-food Halloween treat alternatives for those with food allergies.  You can either opt to give out only non-food items to everyone, or your have things ready for those who request it.

Healthy Alternatives to Traditional Halloween Candy - They Exist!

Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project here.

Some of the creative ideas I’ve found include used children’s books, science/discovery oriented items (found cheaply online or at dollar stores), super-balls, and Halloween-related novelty toys (glow rings, squishy brains, etc.) that can be purchased for pennies on the dollar.

However you decide to opt out of the sugary haze that normally envelopes Halloween,make sure you are creative! Trying to do right by the health of your neighbor’s children shouldn’t be a downer. Instead, aim to inspire healthy habits with some well planned Halloween candy alternatives that are actually fun!

*“The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).”

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