10 Best Healthy Halloween Snacks and Treats
Looking for healthier options for your kids and neighborhood trick-or-treaters? Try these delicious and wholesome ideas.
By Erin Semple and Chandni Jhunjhunwala from readersdigest.com
1. Dark Chocolate Bites
Skip the milk chocolate and sneak antioxidant-rich dark chocolate into trick-or-treat bags. Dark chocolate contains a healthy dose of flavonoids known for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
We Like: Organic Dark Chocolate Bug Bites
These delicious treats are all-natural and have a high cocoa content (72 percent). Get the adorable Halloween Treat Fun Pack for $6.72 per bag. Not a bad price for gourmet, socially-conscious chocolate. On the outside of the bag, trick-or-treaters can learn about the National Wildlife Federation and their Backyard Wildlife Habitat program. Available at Chocolatebar.com.
2. Organic Munchies
Let's face it, Halloween isn't the same without candy. But you can still do your bit for the environment and for the health of little ones by handing out preservative-free candy. Here's to a green, wholesome Halloween!
We Like: Organic FruitaBu Smooshed Fruit Flats, Rolls and Twirls
They are made with over 90 percent organic fruit and no artificial additives. They come in a plethora of flavors including apple, raspberry, strawberry and grape. Much better than store bought fruit roll-ups and Twizzlers, don't you think? Available at Drugstore.com. $4.49 for a box of 6-0.7 oz (21g) twirls.
3. Chocolate-Dipped Figs
Did you know that dried figs are a nutritional powerhouse and pack more health benefits than most dried fruits? They’re full of fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. Plus, figs are sweet to boot, especially when dipped in chocolate!
We Like: Figamajigs
These fat-free fig bars are covered in dark chocolate. They come flavored with almonds, raspberries and mint and were named Healthiest Candy of 2006 by Forbes and given a Healthy Snack Award by Shape in 2007. “These are very appealing to kids,” says Cynthia Sass, co-author of The Ultimate Diet Log. Available at Figamajigs.com. $23.85 for a box of 15 bars.
4. Soy Treats
Soy snacks can contain up to a whopping 7 grams of protein plus they aren't loaded with bad fats. We'll admit that soy doesn't sound very appealing. But if you go for the sweeter variety, you'll be surprised at how much it tastes like candy.
We Like: Genisoy Sweet Crisps Chocolate
Available at your local Whole Foods or at Genisoy.com. $2.69 for a bag.
5. Gummy Candy
Kids will spell out yummy as they devour this fat-free treat. Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, gummy letters are a healthy choice. For extra fun, try making your own gummy letters from jell-o and cutting utensils.
We Like: Haribo Alphabet Letters
Available at Amazon.com. 5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12) for $13.11.
6. Pre-Packaged Snacks
Try pretzels, nuts, trail mix, popcorn, cheese and crackers, pumpkin or sunflower seeds. All of these snacks provide good nutrients. The sunflower seeds, in particular, are high in good fat. Be careful with nuts, though. About five percent of children have allergies, some of which are nut allergies, says Beverly Pressey, M.S., Registered Dietician.
We Like: Halloween Pretzel Packets
Available at Terrysvillage.com for $7.99 each.
7. Honey and Sesame Candy
Dazzle your neighborhood kids with an extra-sweet treat, such as honey sticks or bite-size honey and sesame candy. Three pieces contain 60 calories, 1 gram of protein and just 7 grams of sugar.
We Like: Honey Sesame Crunch Candy
Available at Munchiessweetsandtreats.com. $4.00 for a pound.
8. Sugar-Free Snacks
If the thought of what all that Halloween candy can do to your kids' health and teeth scares you, give them sugarless gum, a dentist favorite. It contains artificial sweeteners called xylitol or sorbitol that help prevents cavities. Make sure to offer a variety of flavors for your picky trick-or-treaters. Packages of cocoa are a good standby, too.
We Like: Bazooka Sugar Free Bubble Gum
Available at Blaircandy.com. $2.00 for a 3.3oz box.
9. Dried Fruits
Here’s a sweet yet sugar-free snack that tastes good and is good for your kids, too.
We Like: FruitziO Strawberries
Trick-or-treaters won't complain when you substitute potato chips with these freeze-dried fruit crisps. This 100-calorie snack tastes fruity and has no added preservatives. Available at your local Whole Foods or at Crispygreen.com. $3.75 for a bag.
10. Bottoms Up
Offer a selection of juice boxes or homemade apple cider to help kids stay hydrated while they go trick-or-treating and get their daily dose of Vitamin C. Adults ushering young children might enjoy a cup of low-fat hot chocolate.
We Like: Froose Juice
You can't stop kids from getting hopped up on sugar during Halloween, but try serving this juice if you want to sneak in some nutrition. Froose is made from two very healthy ingredients: brown rice and 100 percent fruit concentrate. The juice is low in sugar and has all the goodness and fiber you would find in fresh fruit and whole grains. Available at Froose.com. $9.00 for a variety pack of 12 juice boxes.
Sources: Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, co-author of The Ultimate Diet Log; Penny Warner, author of Kid’s Holiday Fun, child development instructor; Beverly Presses, M.S., R.D., Mom, author of Simple and Savvy Strategies for Creating Healthy Eaters
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