Several years ago when I started my career as a dietitian, I decided to take a nutritional stand on Halloween by giving out non-traditional goodies. Yes, you may officially slap me with a "Nutrition Geek" label. As a newbie in the field, I possessed a great fervor for exposing my trick-or-treaters to nutritious alternatives in their goodie bag, and I figured they'd get their sugar fix from many other households. I started my Halloween goodie journey with boxed raisins. Don't ask me how they went over as I wasn't there when the kids sifted through their loot, but I wasn't too worried as my goal was to at least expose them to something they might not otherwise be exposed to. (I will add that my child and many others I know DO like raisins for the record!) Over the years, I've still maintained an enthusiasm about celebrating Halloween with the kiddos in different ways, so I thought I'd share some of my alternative treat options here in case you might want to experiment with this, too, if you haven't already.
- Non-food treats, like pencils, Play-doh, stickers, temporary tattoos, balls, spider rings, bubbles, crayons, etc.
- One study found that when given the choice between non-food treats, like Halloween-themed pencils, stickers, and toys and candy treats that children chose the non-food treats as often as they selected the candy treats.
- More nutritious goodies
- Small packages of dried fruit, fruit leathers, trail mix, whole grain pretzels or graham crackers, 100 calorie mini-bag popcorn, individual boxes of ready-to-eat whole grain cereal, whole grain granola or cereal bars
- Treats you (or your family) don't like
- This may help save you from temptation in the time leading up to Halloween and from the leftovers aftewards. If you don't like it, there's less temptation to eat it. For me, that includes anything with coconut in it -- Mounds, Almond Joy -- bleck!