This Halloween, use your powers for good and make sure that your neighbourhood is filled with healthy, happy kids rather than cranky monsters hopped up on candy. But beware; nothing gets your house egged faster than apples in Halloween trick or treat pillow cases.
If you don’t want to contribute to the candy craziness that is Halloween, you can opt for healthier snacks that kids will love. You can also swop out some of the candy your kids forage from the neighbours with healthier treats. Offer them a two-for-one exchange rate to sweeten the deal.
Tip #1: Buy healthy treats
If you have a busy schedule and don’t have the time to make treats, there are healthier options you can opt for in the candy aisle.
Mini Microwave Popcorn: Everyone loves popcorn and you can pass these treats out for kids to make themselves. Go for brands with fewer artificial flavours.
Chocolate-covered raisins and nuts: Small bags of these babies will make a great Halloween treat. They are tasty and healthier than candy.
Trail mix snack packs: Get these in small packets or buy in bulk and save money. When you buy in bulk, you can package trail mix or nuts in small plastic packets from the dollar store or craft store.
ShaSha Organic Snaps cookies: These great tasting ginger snap cookies are available in 30g packages which are perfect for giving out as a healthy treat. Best of all they are safe for all kids as they are free of preservatives, additives, dairy, trans fat and nuts!
Granola bars: There are a wide range of these and its best to get ones that have a yogurt or chocolate coating for added appeal. Buy in bulk for added value.
Fruit leathers: Healthy and practical, fruit leather makes a great Halloween trick or treat option.
Organic hard candies: You can find these in your local health food store or online here. Organic hard candies contain no artificial colours or flavours and are 100% natural.
Tip #2: Make your own treats
If you have time to make your own Halloween treats, you can save cash on candy and make healthier options for trick-or-treaters.
Popcorn balls: Don’t just make any old popcorn balls, make peanut butter and chocolate popcorn balls! Get the recipe here.
Caramel apples: These need to be wrapped in cellophane so that they don’t stick to everything. Despite the sugary coating, candy apples still make a healthier treat. Use the basic recipe here or get crazy and go for chocolate-covered caramel apples!
Rice Krispie Treats: A classic and a firm favorite! You can get the basic recipe here, but feel free to dip them in chocolate or shape them into jack-o-lanterns.
Tip #3: Toy treats
Don’t buy treats at all! This option is fairly cost-effective and kids will love it. Go to your local dollar store and find packets of small toys like yo-yos, bouncy balls, small stuffed animals, skipping ropes and Frisbees. Stationary, costume jewelry and temporary tattoos are great for girls.
Art stores have a wealth of options like fancy pens and pencils, cheap crayons, packets of glitter and interesting erasers.
You can make your toys more Halloween-themed and get vampire teeth, zombie face paint, plastic snakes or fake blood instead. Break open the packets and hand out the toys individually.
Tip #4: Safety first
The most important thing to remember this Halloween is that in addition to making it a healthier holiday for the children you should also make it a safe one. If you’re a new parent, grandparent, teacher, or you’re just new to this annual tradition, you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about All Hallows’ Eve in the 2012 Edition of A Short Guide to Halloween Safety.