Halloween Goodies: Healthy Halloween Treats for Kids and What to Do With That Leftover Candy

Reader Contribution by Aaron Harris
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It’s that time again — time to start thinking about what Halloween goodies you want to hand out to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Candy corn? How about mini chocolate bars? Before heading out to buy those huge bags of candy, consider trying something different this year.

While it may not be your child taking home those sugary Halloween goodies, it could be. There’s nothing like a few cavities or a nasty stomach ache to ruin the good time of this scary holiday. Instead of Snickers or jawbreakers, try a few healthy Halloween snacks. They’re still treats, so the neighborhood children won’t be mad about being tricked out of candy:

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Non-sugar gum
  • Fruit snacks that are made with 100 percent juice
  • Snack-sized packs of raisins (they’re still sweet without the sugar)
  • Low-sugar cereal bars (be careful; some are high in sugar.)
  • Honey sticks

These are but a few ideas for alternative Halloween candy. You’re sure to find several healthy options as you shop. You just have to look past the big bags of sugary junk.

Some are uncomfortable giving out any type of candy on Halloween. Food allergies and childhood obesity are common reasons for this. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of creative Halloween treats that you can try out:

  • Themed bouncy balls (c’mon, everyone loves a good bouncy ball)
  • Stickers
  • Spider rings
  • Bubbles (apparently you can find black and orange ones these days)
  • Vampire teeth
  • Halloween tops
  • Fake tattoos

When picking out either candy or non-candy items, make sure you keep in mind the toddlers and other smaller children. Be aware of anything that is a choking hazard. When in doubt, ask the parent if it’s OK for the child to have the toy or candy.

Every year, there is one huge question that pops up after Halloween is over. What do I do with the leftover Halloween candy? There is usually too much to give the children. Do you just throw away that leftover candy? Before doing that, think about it. There are actually some really neat ideas you can do with that candy:

  • Use it for Christmas gingerbread houses. (I’d never thought of this, and have to give credit to Michelle Mirizzi, MS for the great idea.)
  • Give it away at work.
  • Keep it for other events, but make sure the children don’t know where it’s located.
  • Some candies can be used in baking recipes.
  • Donate it to local charities. (Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House. Just a couple of ideas.)
  • Need a piñata filled? You’ve got your candy.

With a little ingenuity, this list could get ten times longer. There’s no need to waste all the chocolate and sweets your children are bound to bring home. Remember that these are only suggestions — be creative, come up with new ones and be sure to share them with us by posting a comment below.

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