This year when the kids ring your doorbell and sing “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat,” wouldn’t it be nice to give them something “good for them” to eat for a change? You know, instead of handing them junk food that has no nutritional value and can damage their health in the long run.
Halloween is a day where kids go door-to-door and receive a bunch of candy that is usually high in calories, saturated fat and sugar. Eating a bunch of these treats can be harmful to our kids’ health. This is an especially large problem with childhood obesity on the rise. Obesity is practically an epidemic among children in the United States. This is a serious issue, because overweight or obese kids will most likely turn out to be overweight or obese adults, putting them at greater risk of many medical conditions. So, you can do your part to combat obesity by giving children healthier treats this Halloween.
What should I give out for Halloween?
Halloween treats do not have to be unhealthy. There are a lot of healthier alternatives that you can give that aren’t as likely to get your house toilet-papered as the toothbrushes the dentist in my neighborhood used to give out. The kids will also probably enjoy them more than I enjoyed the Milk Duds that my neighbor seemed so fond of giving out. Here are 5 suggestions that you can try this year:
- Raisins: You can give out small boxes of raisins. Not only are raisins tasty, but they are also a good source of dietary fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals.
- Trail mix: These mixes are usually filled with a variety of nuts and dried fruits and tend to be a healthier alternative that has much less sugar and unhealthy fats than candy bars.
- Fruit snacks: Kids love fruit snacks and they are much healthier than candy bars. Just make sure to purchase the ones that are made from real fruit and are trans fat free.
- Lollipops: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both carry organic lollipops that contain no artificial flavors or colors. They are still made primarily of sugar, but at least they are healthier than a candy bar. They are fat free and have less calories, about 25 per lollipop.
- Non-candy treats: School supplies and inexpensive toys make great treats. Mechanical pencils, colored pencils, balloons, crayons and party favor style toys are not that expensive. Plus, every kid loves little gifts, especially toys, and will enjoy them for much longer than a couple pieces of candy.
The bottom line:
Kids look forward to Halloween all year long. It is a fun time when they can dress up and walk door-to-door to get free treats. But let’s show kids that treats don’t have to be unhealthy to be fun. Let’s give them treats that are better for their health and make this Halloween a happier, healthier one for kids! They will thank you in the long run. And if you do it right, in the short run as well. Happy Halloween, everyone!