Halloween is a candy company’s dream holiday. Millions and millions of people, purchasing their high sugar candy in mass quantities. But it can also be a parent’s nightmare. The sugar highs, the moodiness as it wears off, and the overall health effects of consuming large amounts of sugar.
With the growing concern of childhood obesity, it is no wonder that more and more families are looking to make healthier decisions when it comes to the things their children eat. With Halloween right around the corner, many parents are probably starting to think about the treats they will be distributing and allowing their children to consume.
But parents do not have to cave and hand out the most sugary sweets in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact, other parents would probably be thrilled if their child came home with a low-sugar or healthier option – I know I would!
Low Sugar Candies
Many companies now offer a lower sugar or even sugar free version of their treats. But you probably won’t find these special candies as you are strolling along through the aisles of brightly packaged Halloween candy. You are most likely to find these hidden treasures in a diet section or sometimes in the regular candy section of your favorite store. The problem with these low sugar or sugar free goodies is that they are not generally packaged for distribution like their high sugar counterparts. Packages are small and more expensive per piece, which is often a deterrent for families that anticipate lots of little gobblins knocking on their door.
Fruit & Nuts
We have heard it before. “Give out fruit for Halloween and you will be labeled as the house NOT to visit.” But more and more homes are giving out small apples, oranges, bananas, raisins, pretzels or nuts. Sure, it’s not the most exciting treat. But just think, you are giving the children something that helps them along in their path to a healthy life rather than just filling them with sugar and unnecessary calories.
Who doesn’t like money? And who doesn’t have loose change? Instead of handing out buckets of candy this Halloween, toss a little loose change into that bag of goodies. Kids can fill their piggy bank and parents can breathe a sigh of relief that it they will not be taking home another candy bar.
While it is not a practical idea for everyone, many find it satisfying to drop a little bit of homemade goodness into the Halloween buckets. Small popcorn balls, chocolate dipped pretzels, muffins, or mini-cupcakes are just a few of the infinite possibilities of homemade goodies that could be neatly packaged for the neighborhood spooks.
So just because Halloween has always been a sweet and sugary holiday, that does not mean we should not take a few minutes to think about what we are filling our children with and do our best to make healthy decisions for their futures.