The average US trick-or-treater takes home 600g of sugar, the equivalent to 3 cups! Americans alone, spend $2.08 billion dollars on Halloween candy. Many have asked for healthy alternatives to candy on Halloween. Now we are not saying don’t have fun, just don’t overload your children (and others) with excessive bags of sugar laden candy. Here are a few reasons why one night of fun and a massive sugar hit has become an issue over the past few decades:
- Children have never eaten so much sugar. By the time a child is 8 years old they will have consumed as much sugar as an adult did in their lifetime 100 years ago.
- Sugar is in so much food these days, hidden by sauces, baked beans, bread, fizzy drinks, energy drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, breakfast bars, and so many more everyday foods.
- Halloween is only one night but then add Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, end-of-year events, bake sales, fundraisers, New Year…it never ends.
- Obesity, type-2 diabetes, and tooth decay are at record levels because of all of the above.
- Most children don’t eat all of their candy in one night, most frequently eating it over the next week or more, so it is not just one night.
- Don’t be fooled into buying organic sweets or those made with real fruit juice. They are seen by the body as sugar, plain and simple, and just as damaging.
ALTERNATIVE PARTY BAG IDEAS
Instead of handing out candy or sweets to trick-or-treaters, try these ideas instead:
- glow sticks
- spider rings
- spooky playing cards
- mini playdough
- bottles of bubbles
HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TREATS
- Jack-O-Lanterns made from mandarins or satsumas. Draw their faces with a black permanent marker. Leave this one for your children to make. See how scary or funny you can make their faces. Pop them in their lunch boxes leading up to Halloween. No carving required, no mess, and you can hand them out to trick-or-treaters because they are unpeeled.
- Cheese Finger Food – make fingers out of cheese and green peppers. Realistic with carved knuckles makes them even more creepy and spooky.
- Banana Ghosts & Mandarin Pumpkins – Turn little mandarins into pumpkins by peeling and putting a stick of celery into the center. Banana ghosts are simply bananas with chocolate drops stuck on.
- Cheese Monsters – Made from mini Babybel cheese and a sharp knife. Stick on some scary eyes and create some awesome fangs.
- Veggie Skeleton – Arrange sliced vegetables into a skeleton shape with the head being a cream cheese dip. You could even add slices of ham for the ‘skin’ to make it more gruesome.
- Cheesy Halloween Snacks – Require absolutely zero artistic or culinary skill whatsoever. Use a Halloween themed cookie cutters to create fun shaped, healthy snacks.