On Halloween, candy reigns supreme — but it’s far from the only treat you can serve up to Halloween trick-or-treaters. Cut down on the empty calories and sugar by giving out sensible snacks, like candy’s close cousin, sugarless chewing gum. It’s a natural cavity fighter because chewing stimulates saliva, which fights tooth decay.
Mini boxes, bags, and packages of raisins, apple slices, pretzels, string cheese, cereal bars, Goldfish crackers, and Pirate’s Booty are easy to find at the local supermarket — and are well-liked by kids. Or hand out Halloween-themed bags of baby carrots (BabyCarrots.com has packaged them as Scarrots) or Angie’s Kettle Corn, which is gluten-free.
To reduce or keep away the amount of candy in your home, encourage kids to participate in Halloween Candy Buy Back, a national program that pays kids $1 per pound of sweets that are shipped to U.S. troops overseas.
Other Healthy Halloween Handouts
Go-to Flavors: Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Peanuts, Dark Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups
If you’re a sucker for the major players on Halloween (we’re talking Snickers, M&Ms, and Reese’s) but aren’t thrilled about artificial ingredients, UNREAL has got you covered. The company’s mission to reinvent our favorite candies with “only the good stuff” led to the creation of eight varieties identical in taste to their processed counterparts, but with only all-natural ingredients. With no GMOs, preservatives, or hydrogenated oils, these treats allow you to indulge your sweet tooth guilt-free. Get festive with the limited edition “Day of the Dead” themed packaging, which comes in a 3-D Halloween Bucket filled with 40 individually wrapped candies of assorted varieties (perfect for leaving out for trick-or-treaters if you aren’t home) or 10-piece bags.
Go-to Flavors: Original, Sweet
Are you a popcorn-ball lover? The holiday treat may be delicious, but it’s packed with salt and artificial flavorings that can give cholesterol levels a scare. Get your popcorn fix – and hand out a unique Halloween treat – the healthy way by digging into a 100-calorie bag of SkinnyPop made with just three ingredients. The perfectly-portioned bags make for a convenient treat to pass out on Halloween night.
Go-to Flavors: Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate
Many people reserve granola bars for on-the-go breakfasts or an afternoon pick-me-up, but with KIND’s assortment of decadent, dessert-flavored bars, they can be a smart way to satisfy a sweet tooth as well. At below 200 calories each, they easily have fewer calories than a candy bar, not to mention a dose of antioxidants and filling fiber. The combo of all-natural nuts, fruits, and whole grains, plus delicious chocolate, makes for a healthy treat that tastes guilt-worthy.
Snack Well’s 100-Calorie Packs
Go-to Flavors: Fudge Pretzels
The salty-sweet combo of chocolate-covered pretzels is hard to resist on a normal day, let alone on Halloween when chocolate treats are calling your name from every direction. These 100-calorie packs are perfectly portion controlled, allowing you to indulge your cravings — but keep you from going overboard.
Go-to Flavors: Chocolate Coated Crunch, Chocolate Coated Mint, Chocolate Coated Coconut
If candy bars are your go-to sweet treat, then the Square Bar is a perfect treat to hand out at Halloween. Made with all organic ingredients and no added flavors, each bar boasts an impressive amount of protein that makes for a more satisfying bite. The chocolate-coated crunch flavor rivals a Nestle Crunch bar in taste, while saving you 10 grams of sugar per serving and providing 12 grams of filling protein that will power you through Halloween night! If you have lovers of Andes Chocolate Mints in the house, reach for the chocolate-coated mint variety, and the chocolate-coated coconut flavor will appease a Mounds craving!
Sources: Parents.com, EverydayHealth.com, GetUnreal.com (UNREAL Candy)