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Healthy Halloween Treats

By: Robin Amylon

Just because Halloween is coming doesn’t mean you and your kids have to fill up on candy. As we all know, traditional Halloween treats are packed with empty calories that have no nutritional value. This is a great opportunity to teach your children the importance of moderation and portion control. Before taking them trick or treating discuss a “treat schedule” of when and how much candy your kids will enjoy each day. Then, once you get home, have your child make a pile of their favorite treats to enjoy in moderation. All candy that is left over can be donated to a local shelter or sent in a care package to those serving overseas. As for the candy that you are keeping, store it in a place where your child can’t see it and you may find they forget about it after a few days.

It’s not that difficult to find Halloween treats that your kids will love but are also packed with whole grains, vitamins and fiber. Try mixing up the candy bowl with some of these healthier options. Below are also lists of candies and chocolates that are lower in calories and can be enjoyed in moderation.

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Healthier Treats

  • Fun size chewy granola bars
  • Single-serving packets of prunes
  • Mini boxes of Raisins
  • Fun size graham crackers, pretzels, animal crackers or light popcorn
  • 100 calorie pack snacks
  • Fig newtons
  • Individual packages of nuts, seeds or trail mix
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Baked apples with cinnamon

Lower Calorie Candy Options

  • Ginger candies
  • Twizzlers and swedish fish
  • Jelly beans or gum drops
  • Skittles or starburst fruit chews
  • Caramels
  • Hard candies like jolly ranchers
  • Lollipops
  • Fruit snacks
  • Candy corn

Lower Calorie Chocolate Options

  • Tootsie rolls
  • Mini size: 3 musketeers, milky way, milk duds, kit-kat, york peppermint pattie, thin mints or junior mints
  • Raisinets
  • Peanut/Almond M&M’s
  • Hershey’s mint milk chocolate sticks
  • Chocolate covered pretzels

Fun Halloween Toys You Can Give Instead of Candy: There’s no rule that says you can only give candy on Halloween. Try giving your kids these fun, spooky toys instead.

  • Halloween-themed pencils, pencil toppers, crayons or erasers
  • Scary magnets or stickers
  • Temporary Halloween tattoos
  • Slimy, scary plastic worms, spiders or Halloween figures
  • Halloween-themed balloons
  • Bubbles or whistles
  • Bouncy balls that encourage activity
  • Ornamental hair accessories for girls

Candy Eating Tips

  • Avoid traditional candy bars, especially king size candy bars
  • Choose mini or fun size candies to limit portion sizes
  • Choose “dark chocolate” when possible as dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant. But don’t get too excited – chocolate is high in fat and calories, and when consumed in excess, can lead to excess weight gain
  • Consume treats in moderation! Just because they are on this list does not mean you can eat an unlimited amount. These treats are lower in calories and fat, but they can still add up if you eat too much of them.

What’s Up Next Week: In Season. Fall Produce Guide

This Week’s Recipe: Paleo Twix Candy Bar

Replace regular candy bars with these paleo friendly twix candy bars for a healthier Halloween treat.

Ingredients:

  • Cookies:
    • ½ cup + 6 tablespoons almond flour
    • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or butter)
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Caramel:
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • ¼ cup raw coconut palm sugar
    • ½ cup coconut milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • pinch salt
  • Chocolate:
    • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon cacao butter

Directions for Caramel Sauce:

  • Bring water and coconut palm sugar to a boil stirring the mixture constantly
  • Add coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. The mixture will start to thicken and turn darker in color.

Directions for Cookie:

  • Mix almond flour, arrowroot powder and salt
  • In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, vanilla and honey
  • Gently mix wet ingredients with dry. Do not over mix or the batter will become oily.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and shape the dough into a square of about ¼-inch thickness
  • Cut dough into about 14 1×3-inch pieces. Do not separate the pieces.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until the edges and top start to turn brown
  • Set cookie sheet on a wire rack to cool, then separate each piece using a knife or pastry chopper
  • Make the caramel according to above recipe and after it cools spread evenly across the top of each cookie
  • Refrigerate until caramel hardens
  • Melt chocolate chips and cacao butter slowly in a double boiler
  • Dip each cookie, one at the time in the melted chocolate
  • Place dipped cookies on parchment paper and refrigerate until set

Recipe yields about 14 1×3-inch twix bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

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