Posted on 10/26/2017
Finding healthy Halloween treats your kids will love may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Essentially, being mindful this holiday season will help you find more nutritious treats that your kids will also love.
First things first, remember - bad is a relative term and not all treats are “bad.” In one respect, Halloween treats are good because they contain calories and we all need calories to live! But on the other hand, of course, as a nation we consume way too much sugar and too many empty calories.
Candy and sweet treats not only encourage cavities, but also prevent kids from eating the healthy stuff. Consuming sweets too often also contributes to unhealthy eating habits and over time can add extra, unwanted pounds. So, when deciphering what treats children should consume, look for treats that incorporate some fruit and nuts. Fruit incorporated in treats still contain small amounts of healthy vitamins and minerals, and nuts will add some healthy fats while slowing down the glycemic response of treats. Bottom line: try to steer clear of pure sugar treats and if you do so, do so infrequently – think once or twice a year not daily or weekly.
You might be surprised to learn that added sugars hide in many of our foods from granola bars to condiments and everything in between. Because sweet treats aren’t the only source of sugar in the diet, Americans already consume more sugar than what they think they do. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugar intake to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance: no more than 100 calories per day for women (about 6 teaspoons) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (9 teaspoons). That equates to about 5 Hersey kisses per day.
Here are a few of my favorite “healthier treats” to enjoy and give away:
Here are my favorite non-food items to giveaway:
With all the doom and gloom surrounding sugar these days, you might think you need to skip the holiday altogether! But that doesn’t have to be the case. A treat or two every so often is fine. And families should find ways to make it more balanced -- to bring a few fun and healthy Halloween treats and tricks to the party.
Looking for additional healthy snack ideas to help reduce the family's sugar intake this Halloween season? Then check out the rest of the Seattle Sutton blog which is filled with great healthy eating tips and tricks. Happy Halloween!
Grew up in the food industry and took that love of healthy eating to earn her degree in nutrition. She has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years and has been with SSHE since 2013, providing nutrition analysis and meal planning. Her special interests in weight management and diabetes, helps patients manage their weight and health conditions. She enjoys an active lifestyle, as well as time in the kitchen. Rene’s favorite SSHE meal is the Thai Noodle Salad.