Welcome! Log In | Register

3 Healthy Candy Swaps for Trick or Treating

Written on October 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm , by

Consider handing out a little less sugar. (Photo by Bryan McCay)

Happy almost-Halloween! Outside of the topic of costumes, the next important topic revolving around this ghoulish holiday is, of course, the candy.

With two kids, we’ll be hitting up the trick-or-treating circuit. I don’t know who will get more, but I do know that in either case it’s. A. Lot.  Estimates suggest kids eat about 3 cups worth of candy on Halloween night alone.  That doesn’t even speak to the leftovers for the next week or so!

If you and your family want to enjoy candy, enjoy candy. Our girls will, within reason. We usually have them pick their 5 favorites and then toss the rest.

But candy isn’t just coming into the house. Sometimes it just stays there, never leaving. After all, who’s guilty of buying too much candy when they invite trick-or-treaters to their doorstep? I know we have. For a fighting chance in the battle of the bulge, consider picking some better-for-you choices this year. That way, when your neighborhood kids don’t come in droves like you expect, you’ll still have some goodies to munch on (nom, nom, nom). Need some ideas? These are the 3 we’ll be offering:

Wonderful Pistachios. These are a go-to Halloween giveaway for us.  It started last year when our then-3.5-year-old saw the little bags in the grocery store and wanted some.  Always happy to oblige when she asks for quality foods, we picked them up. To our surprise, we actually had several kids thank us for giving something different, and their parents were equally as happy.  Less sugar highs! They can be found in a 1-oz. bag, providing just 80 calories of nutrient-rich goodness without any added sugars.

POM POMS are new treats we’ll try this year, now that they’re for sale in convenient individual containers. Handing out fresh pomegranates might be a bit weird, so these prepackaged seeds are ideal. POM arils (the edible seeds) are nutritious, delivering nutrients like vitamins C & K, potassium and fiber, among others.  They’re crunchy.  They’re sweet.  And they’re nice for variety to move away from the typical candy.  The downside: they can be messy, so help your kids eat them (and steal some for yourself to enjoy in cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or just as a plain snack).

Justin’s 80-Calorie Nut Butter Packs.  OK, these might just be a bit too addicting.  I was recently introduced to them at the Annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference. They’re convenient, healthy and packed with nutrition.

Now while you might be thinking our house will get egged, last year when we gave out Pistachios and mini Clif Bars, we actually had several “thank you’s” from parents…and even their kids. Think about it, and enjoy your trick or treating!

Related: Get more nutrition and women’s health advice from Chris and Kara Mohr.