Halloween is a time for yummy treats, but not all Halloween goodies need to be candy and junk food. There are plenty of healthy alternatives in factory-sealed (so parents are less likely to reject them) packaging. Here are the top 10 healthy Halloween treats.
Snack-sized packages of carrots make a neat, nutritious trick or treat. Carrots are full of vitamins that are essential to keeping developing bodies running smoothly, making them a useful addition to a child’s diet. Encourage kids to eat them at Halloween and perhaps they’ll develop a taste for carrots the rest of the year.
Although they have a heaping dose of fat, peanuts also contain omega 3 fatty acids that are so good for the body. Buzz is growing about adding omega 3 fatty acids to children’s diets, and peanuts come conveniently sealed in single serving bags. It’s vital, however, that you not give nuts to any child with peanut allergies – so when in doubt ask the parents supervising, or if a child doesn’t know if he/she can eat peanuts, have another treat as back-up.
8. Trail Mix
Like peanuts, trail mix comes in convenient snack-sized portions. (Also like peanuts allergies are a concern if the trail mix contains peanuts or is manufactured in a plant that processes peanuts – information about which is usually found on the packaging.) Trail mix filled with nuts, seeds, and fruits like raisins and cranberries can fuel hungry bellies with protein.
7. Peanut Butter Crackers
Sandwich crackers like peanut butter or cheese crackers come in individual packages of multiple crackers, and make delicious, snappy treat. Peanut butter is a good way to get protein and the crackers, particularly a wheat or whole grain variety, can provide fiber. (Again, watch for peanut allergies.)
Although there is debate about the healthiness of raisins because of their sugar content, raisins do have some health benefits. They boost the immune system with vitamins C and B6 and support several key body systems with potassium. One quarter cup of raisins equals a serving of fruit. And they can be found in small boxes perfect for trick or treating.
5. String Cheese
String cheese is a low calorie snack with lots of calcium to boost growing bones and teeth. The protein and fat in string cheese helps slow down the metabolism of the sugar and carbs in candy. String cheese almost always comes packaged with each stick sealed individually. The only hitch is they need to be refrigerated, so you will have to be sure to keep them cool right up until handing them out, and make sure the kids know they have to refrigerate them as soon as possible.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
A seasonally appropriate treat, pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and magnesium. They support healthy brain function as well as aiding the nervous system and cardiovascular system. Single serving bags of pumpkin seeds are readily available in most supermarkets.
3. Single Serving Cereal
While trick or treaters may have to wait until they get home to fully enjoy cereal, small single serving cereal boxes of healthy cereals like Cheerios, Special K, or granola are a fun and exciting treat that’s as readily recognizable as candy. Every type of cereal has different health benefits, but you can often find sealed packs of multiple boxes of similar cereals in grocery stores, making it easy to stock for the holiday.
2. Granola Bars
Granola bars may seem like an expensive treat, but if you usually give away large candy bars you’ll find the price comparable. It’s also a wonderful alternative to candies if you only have a small number of trick or treaters visit you yearly. There are many flavors and different nutritional values, but by and large granola bars pack a punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats.
Mini pretzels in a single serving pack are a salty favorite. Give out the whole wheat variety and you’re giving out up to 10% the daily recommendation of healthy minerals like niacin and thiamin. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and protein, making them the perfect snack.