Getting tired of handing out the same boring candy every year to the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood? Rather than heading out to the store to buy a big bag of Halloween candy, why not look at alternative Halloween treats that you can give out this year that are healthy and fun? Not only will it allow you to do something a little different this Halloween, but you will also be doing something good for the children of your community by offering healthier alternatives to candy bars and lollipops. Here are 10 healthy, Halloween treats that you can give out to trick-or-treaters this year:
1. Fruit Snacks
You can give out something sweet and fun this Halloween, while providing trick-or-treaters with a healthy helping of vitamin C by handing out fruit snacks. While most nutritionists would recommend real fruits as a healthier option, since fruit snacks are still sugary and can be bad for a child's teeth, fruit snacks are a healthier alternative to taffy or artificially-flavored, hard candies. Just make sure that you read the nutrition label at the store and choose the fruit snacks with high vitamin C content.
2. Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Replace the typical candy bar with a chocolate chip granola bar. The chocolate chips still provide trick-or-treaters with something savory and sweet, while the granola can replace the chewy and crunchy texture of peanuts, caramel and nougat. Make sure to read nutrition labels carefully, and avoid granola bars loaded with saturated fat, and look for organic bars that are high in fiber.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
While they may not be your typical treat, no one can deny that pumpkin seeds are festive handouts that go well with a Halloween celebration. As a healthy Halloween treat for trick-or-treaters, pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, iron and magnesium. They are also a significant source for protein and can provide trick-or-treaters with a snack that is fun to munch on as they go door-to-door.
Some people might consider handing out fresh apples for Halloween as a healthy treat, but if you want to really provide something for trick-or-treaters that is both fun and nutritious, hand out packs of applesauce instead. The great things about applesauce as a Halloween treat is they aren't as heavy as a whole apple and they aren't perishable until opened.
5. Crackers and Low-Fat Peanut Butter
There are a variety of peanut butter crackers on the market that you can serve as a healthy alternative to candy this Halloween. These snacks are a favorite amongst children who love finding them in their lunch box. For something extra fun, look for varieties that allow children to spread the peanut butter on the cracker themselves.
6. Chocolate Chip Trail Mix
Chocolate chip trail mix is a great alternative to regular chocolate candies, because it replaces most of the chocolate with a healthy dose of almonds, peanuts and raisins. This sweet, savory and slightly salty snack is something that trick-or-treaters will surely enjoy. Plus, the chocolate chips in the trail mix will make them think they still got candy rather than a healthier alternative.
7. Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins
Dark chocolate covered raisins are slightly healthier than their regular counterparts with less fat content, while still offering the benefits of antioxidants and flavonols. Of course, you could always skip the chocolate and just hand out raisin packs to trick-or-treaters, but the kids will probably appreciate the dark chocolate coating, even if it's not as sweet as milk chocolate covered raisins.
8. String Cheese
Kids love string cheese because it's tasty and fun to pull, twist and eat, while parents love string cheese because it's rich in calcium. Another health benefit of string cheese is its protein content. When you're shopping for some at the store, try to find the nonfat or low-fat varieties for your trick-or-treaters.
9. Fruit Yogurt
You can find plenty of fun, fruit-flavored yogurt snack packs made especially for kids at the grocery store. Trick-or-treaters will benefit from the potassium and B vitamins, plus a healthy dose of probiotics. Store these yogurt handouts in a cooler packed with ice at the door to keep them from spoiling.
10. Cereal Bars
Similar to granola bars, a cereal bar can be a sweet treat that trick-or-treaters will enjoy. Look for whole grain varieties of cereal bars to maximize the potential health benefits of these fun treats. Try to avoid heavily sweetened bars and make sure you read the nutrition label to find the healthiest choice with the most fiber that's under 150 calories.
For this year's Halloween, don't take the lazy route by buying a variety pack of candy for your neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Head to the grocery and scan the aisles for healthy treats you can handout that are better alternatives to sugary, calorie-filled candies that are fattening.