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What are some healthy alternatives to candy I can give out on Halloween?

Oct 22, 2013

Gwen Beckcom
FT Mission Hills


"Tangerines or clementines decorated like jack-o'-lanterns!"

Vanessa Ocasio
FT Auburn


"Money!  Kids are always happy to get money instead of candy.  At least my neighbors are.  Hopefully they'll use that money for their workout/sports gear fund!"

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"Over in Basking Ridge we believe there are many healthy alternatives to candy one can give away on Halloween and still keep it fun! Some of these are cereal bars, trail mix, animal crackers, turkey jerky, fig cookies, applesauce, bean dip, microwave popcorn, apple cider packets and frozen chocolate-covered bananas!"

Bruce Kelly
FT Media


"I say keep it simple: apples, small bags of nuts and the like. Dried fruit doesn't have much less sugar than the candy you're trying to spare the kids.  But seasonal whole fruits and nuts are good, healthy alternatives."

Kelly Huggins
FT North Buckhead


"Give something other than candy.  At Wal-Mart, at a dollar store, or online you can buy tons of little boxes of stickers, removable tattoos, and Play-Doh and put them in decorative little plastic bags.  This is something that my family does each year and it’s a big hit.  Kids come back to our house trying to get more!"

Stacy Adams
FT Central Georgetown


"Lets face it: Halloween is the one time a year where kids get to fill their bags with as much candy as they can carry or their parents will let them gather.  For my brother and I, the race to see who could get the most was the best part!

"In an effort to make trick-or-treating a healthier activity, there are a few things you can consider when preparing for the trick-or-treaters.  Fruit snacks, popcorn, pretzels, and Rice Krispies Treats are all "healthier" options and enjoyable for most kids.  Discount passes to activities such as movies, miniature golf and batting cages also work.  One of my neighbors always did this for the kids in the neighborhood and we were always excited to get these.

"The main thing is not letting your kids or yourself indulge in the candy endlessly.  Grab a few of their favorites and let them enjoy a few pieces here and there.  Put the rest of the candy away and donate what they don't love to a charity so more children can enjoy the fun of Halloween!"

Dr. Janet Brill
FT Nutritionist


"You could give out small toys instead.  But I like to use Halloween as a teachable moment for children. Rather than deprive them of candy, I prefer to recommend parents use what I call the 10:2 rule.

"When the kids bring home their buckets full of goodies, dump them out and allow your children to sort through the candy and pick out 10 of their favorites. Give away or throw away the rest, then confiscate the 10 pieces. Allow them to eat two per day for dessert and in five days you’re done. You have also taught your child a lifelong healthy eating practice: moderation."

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