Every fall, children look forward to finding the best costume, getting their faces painted and consuming large amounts of Halloween candy. As a parent, you may worry about children learning unhealthy habits and overloading on sugar, artificial dyes and preservatives. Ease your worries while still maintaining the fun of the holiday with these healthier Halloween alternatives:
Instead of handing out Halloween candy, give trick-or-treaters small toys. You can buy many fall-themed items in bulk on Oriental Trading at reasonable prices. Small toys that young children will love include spider rings, glow sticks, pencil-top erasers, temporary tattoos and small coloring books.
Go apple picking with your family to celebrate fall and fill up a bag with fresh apples. Apples are a great alternative to Halloween candy, and you can do so much with them. Eat your apples with peanut butter, dip them in caramel or bake apple chips.
Organic fruit snacks will satisfy your children's sweet tooth without giving them a sugar overload. YumEarth's fruit snacks are made with real fruit extracts and without artificial dyes. Annie's Homegrown also offers several flavors of vegan fruit snacks.
Make your own trail mix at home or buy it at the store. Your children will love small pieces of chocolate in the mix that provide a candy kick without overdoing it. Add raisins, dried fruit, nuts and seeds to balance out the sweet pieces. Buy small packets or make your own baggies to hand out to trick-or-treaters.
Find dried fruit that doesn't contain added sugar or preservatives. Raisins, banana chips and dried apricots, mangoes, apples and cranberries are all savory alternatives to traditional Halloween candy, and your children will love them.
Spread It Out
If you want your kids to enjoy some of the season's "traditional" treats, remember that Halloween candy doesn't need to be eaten all in one day. Spread out the consumption over a few weeks, and consider setting limits on the amount of candy your children can eat each day. Let your children know the limit ahead of time so they aren't surprised.