Halloween candy by the bagful abounds on supermarket shelves at this time of year. While kids love the abundance of sweets, parents concerned about their kids’ candy intake may wonder how they can reduce the amount of sugary treats their kids consume.
We put together the following suggestions for healthier alternatives to Halloween candy that your kids — and the neighborhood trick-or-treaters — may actually enjoy receiving in their goodie bags.
Flavored water and fruit drink pouches
While you usually don’t think about Halloween treats being in liquid form, flavored water and fruit drink pouches make excellent additions to the trick-or-treat bags. Keep your little trick-or-treaters hydrated with convenient, shatter-proof fruit and flavored water drink packages available in the juice aisle of your supermarket.
Have you heard about Hint Kids Water? It’s one of the new drink options available on the market. This boxed water product comes in 6.75-ounce boxes in flavors such as apple, blackberry, cherry and watermelon. According to the drinkhint.com website, the flavored water doesn’t contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, and it’s a vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO certified product.
Some of you readers are old enough to remember the Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot that were staples of your school lunches. Those fun fruity snacks still have high appeal among kids, but they’re joined by new additions to the snack food lineup that make for appealing items that children would love to discover in their trick-or-treat bags this Halloween.
Check your local supermarket for organic fruit snacks, such as Annie’s Homegrown, in fun shapes. Look at the labels on the snack food packaging to help you select a low-sugar variety for your kids to enjoy.
When their children’s snack cravings strike, moms reach for chewy, healthy granola bars. Available in assorted brands and flavors, granola bars are welcome treats in lunch bags and trick-or-treat totes. Granola bars containing mini semisweet chocolate chips are especially appropriate for the Halloween holiday.
To keep your granola bar selection on the healthy side, read product labels carefully. Look at how much sugar, how many calories and how much fiber and protein the bars contain before you make your purchase.
Individual serving sizes of applesauce
Busy moms on the go practically swear by individual serving sizes of applesauce for after-school snacks. The natural sugars present in apples make applesauce a natural choice for a sweet and healthy food choice that most kids — even the pickiest eaters — will appreciate.
To add further appeal to applesauce for trick-or-treating, buy individually wrapped spoons in crazy colors to tie in with the Halloween theme.
Snack bags containing crackers and pretzels
Individually packed sacks of crackers and pretzels are a salvation for busy moms preparing school lunches. What child doesn’t love munching on those cheddar delights known as Goldfish crackers?
Snack bags containing crackers and pretzels make welcome additions to trick-or-treating loot bags. Their convenient individual serving-size packages are ideal for busy moms and dads who need a last-minute handout for trick-or-treating.
What are the ghouls to do when there’s a lot of territory to cover on trick-or-treat night? Individually wrapped packages of trail mix pack plenty of proteins into single-serve parcels. You’ll find several brands that offer trail mix with ingredients including peanuts, raisins, almonds, cashews, granola bits and some chocolate-covered candies.
Make your trail mix pick even healthier by opting for low-sodium brands. Read the product packaging carefully before you purchase them.
While you may not be able to eliminate all of the candy from your kids’ Halloween celebrations, you can make some clever substitutions to curb the sugar intake.
Do you have some healthy Halloween treats that are favorites in your family? Email [email protected] and share them with us. We’d love to read about your spooktacular ideas.
This story originally ran in Washington Family.