Halloween is on its way, and that means: sugar galore, hand in hand with over-stimulation and the subsequent energy crash that can be the stuff of parents' and teachers' nightmares. A little treat here and there isn't such a bad thing, though, and one might shudder to picture the tricks and groans that would accompany Halloween bags filled with nothing but mini boxes of raisins. Still, there are options that are healthier than others. Here, a few picks that may satisfy little tummies a bit better than alternatives, and make it easier to enforce healthful moderation!
- Snack-sized bags of popcorn: Air-popped popcorn is a tasty treat that offers an awful lot of munching for few calories per serving. Avoid heavily salted or buttery, artificially flavored options.
- Peanut M&Ms/candies: Candy, yes, but the protein-packed candy-coated nuts are relatively low on the glycemic index and will be more satiating than other options. Look out for some natural brands such as Sunspire that are free from dyes and preservatives.
- Fruit Snacks: Swap gummy bears or other chewy candies for fruit snacks! They taste great and kids love them. Just be sure to avoid those containing high fructose corn syrup.
- Fruit squeezers: Del Monte and numerous other companies have been creating a range of squeezable fruit pouches, and there is now a range of exciting flavors to choose from, from traditional apple to exotic peach-mango. Pure blended fruits and vegetables...just read the labels for lurking added sugars.
- Dark chocolate: In modest quantities, dark chocolate has been lauded for its healthful properties. Flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that have been shown to reduce cell damage and risk of heart disease. On a night where candy is a given, why not go for the good stuff?
- Small, inexpensive toys: Treats don't have to be edible! Infuse your Halloween offerings bowl with assorted toys, and you may be surprised by what kids go for!