I did a little research for this month’s topic of making a sustainable Halloween and I was absolutely shocked at how much candy each kid eats on that day. According to the National Retail Federation, kids will eat around 7,000 calories worth of candy on Halloween! That’s 3.4 pounds per kid of sugary, fatty, chocolatey, delicious candy.
Is this a problem? Well, the National Health and Nutrition Examination say that kids up to the age of 10 ingest on average 2,000 calories per day. That’s a factor of almost 4 that Halloween cranks up the kids.
So, how do we change this? Is it worth changing? Many say that Halloween is only one day and letting your children enjoy their sugary haul is a time-honored tradition and I will be the first to say that Halloween candy tastes better than any other candy on any other day, but is it worth it?
My gut says, yes…or maybe that’s my guts screaming in agony from too much sugar.
Taking the tried and true method of sifting through your children’s candy is the number one way to make sure that your kid doesn’t eat too much. Taking the best ones and leaving the rest for them, I like to say they’re “paying their taxes.”
Going to Halloween events or parties is another way to help limit your child’s sugar intake. There are “usually” other foods besides bowls of candy that are offered at these parties. Also, eating a full dinner before heading out to go trick or treating will help with the desire for more chocolate.
However, if you aren’t trick or treating and want to help out other parents curbing their sugar-fueled demons, here’s a couple things you can hand out at your house. And, I promise these will be so good, your house will have a “No TP guarantee”
Yes, apples. In Minnesota, there are hundreds of varieties that will be the envy of all other trick-or treaters. These babies are just as sweet as candy, so they’re a great alternative. However, in my opinion, with all the varieties, don’t settle on Granny Smith. Try Gala, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or any of the sweet ones.
If you’ve got your own trees in your backyard, you can make your very own fruit leather. There are so many ways to prepare fruit leather, I’ll link a few different recipes. However, even though fruit leather is pretty easy to make, it’s sometimes frowned upon to give out homemade treats. So, you can head on down to your local food co-op to pick up some pre-packaged leather. It may not be as healthy as a good ol’ Fiji, but it’s better than a Snickers. (Just be sure to have your kids brush their teeth extra well, afterwards).
I remember Fridays were a special day during my elementary school days. You could buy a bag of popcorn for only a quarter. There’s no reason your spooky visitors wouldn’t enjoy this salty treat. You can use coconut oil to pop the corn to give it an exotic flavor. However, some visitors may not appreciate your homemade treat. There are single serving microwave popcorn bags that you can hand out. But, make sure you take note of the brand you choose. Some types are less healthy than others.
Cheese is delicious all on its own, but when you get to pull, twist, and then eat it? No question, string cheese is the best way to eat cheese. I mean, cheese curds are a close second (who doesn’t love their cheese to squeak when chewed, right?) but string cheese is without a doubt the best cheese to eat. PLUS, string cheese has great bits of calcium and protein.
Compared to some of the sugary sweets handed out on Halloween, raisins understandably come under fire. These little guys have to compete with BLANK, but they have everything you’re looking for in a Halloween treat. They’re pocket sized. They’re sweet. They’re yummy. Throw ’em in their bag.
Bracelets, stickers, baseball cards, spider rings, erasers, pencils, or even more pricier toys can be an option for a healthy Halloween handout. Surprise them!