Healthy Halloween Treats

halloweenHalloween is quickly approaching and that means it’s time to stock up for those little trick-or-treaters. It’s one of those holidays that kids look forward to as they fill up their bags full of goodies while dressed up in scary (and cute) costumes. Those tasty Halloween treats don’t have to be full of sugar. We’ve got ideas for healthy halloween treats that parents can feel better about letting their kids have.

When my daughter comes home with her bag full of treats I usually go through it to inspect it first before letting her have any – a good practice for any parent to check for opened pieces. The really sugary junk usually ends up in the trash. There are two main reasons I don’t keep candy in the house: 1.) the obvious – I don’t like my daughter having too many sweets and I don’t use bribery to get her to behave or do things I want so there really is no need to have it around. I like to use stickers as rewards or certain privileges she doesn’t get on a regular basis. 2.) It gets sticky and I don’t want to fight untangling a sucker out of my little girl’s hair.

I like to find alternatives to candy that we can hand out and feel better about giving to our daughter. Whether for a Halloween party or to pass out, these are some tasty treats that moms and kids will both approve.

1. Pretzels
pretzelsPretzels make really great snacks for toddlers. I’ve actually seen now that they sell them packaged and shaped like spiders and other ghoulish characters for Halloween. These make great snacks for kids to take on-the-go as well because mom can just stash them in the diaper bag or purse.

2. Raisins
raisinsOk, so maybe I’m going a bit old fashioned here, but these are quite practical. You can buy them in large bags that come in individual boxes that are just the right size for kids. I used to hand these out before having kids and my daughter loves them. They’re sweet but contain all-natural goodness unlike the high-fructose filled gummies.

3. Chex Mix
This would be ideal to serve up at a Halloween party or package it up in little baggies for the kids. You can check out my recipe for it mentioned in my post on party ideas for kids. You can also make it gluten-free.

4. Popcorn
popcornThere are several creative ways that you can serve up popcorn in a festive way for a yummy treat on Halloween. The neatest idea I’ve seen is using cafeteria gloves to stuff with popcorn, placing a candy-corn in each of the fingers for nails and you’ve got witchy hands! Popcorn balls are another popular favorite though these do contain a bit of sugar.

5. Fruit Leather
Fruit leather is the healthier version of Fruit Roll Ups. These can be found in the produce section of many grocery stores but can be a little costly if you’re buying for a large crowd. A more cost-effective alternative is making your own. Serve up some festive fruits for the season and roll up or you can use cookie cutters to cut out fun Halloween shapes to serve at a party. These are also a great way to use up fruit that is about to go bad. Here’s a recipe I found that is really easy to make:

  • 4fruit leather cups of chopped apricot
  • 1/2 cup 100% white grape juice concentrate
  • juice of a fresh lemon

Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread an even layer of the puree across the paper. Bake for 1 to 3 hours or until it is dry and no longer sticky. Allow to cool completely than cut into desired shapes.

You can also hand out other pre-packaged snacks such as animal cookies, graham cracker cookies or even dried fruit for healthy halloween treats. Some people like to hand out bags of trail mix or nuts, but I would steer clear of these things because 5% of children have food allergies, including those to nuts. If you have some healthy treat ideas that you like to hand out please feel free to share them with us!

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