This past weekend I taught my 3, almost 4, year old niece to say, “trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.” She delightedly repeated it over and over while sticking her little toes in my face. While my niece and I giggled, my sister, her Mom, tried to remind my niece that asking people to smell your feet is not good manners. Hopefully, little niece sticks with the polite “trick-or-treat” followed by a “thank you” when a kind stranger gives her a piece of candy.
I’m pretty sure I was just fulfilling the part of the aunt job description that says something like, instill your impressionable niece or nephew with the knowledge of all things silly, useless, obnoxious and occasionally mildly inappropriate.
The trick-or-treating talk made me think about how much candy that little one will get this Halloween. I’m not trying to rob children of the tradition of raking in a full king size pillowcase of Halloween candy, but trick-or treating is not the one and only celebration for most kids. There’s the school party, the church party, the trunk or treat, the neighborhood block party…you get my point. It adds up to a lot of sugar and not so healthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils in a short period of time.
Instead of giving in to a candy crazy week, prioritize the treats that make Halloween special for your family and enjoy those whether they are healthy or not. In my family, it’s not Halloween without a graveyard which is a giant dirt pudding topped with crushed Oreos for dirt, Milano cookies for headstones and lots of gummy worms and harvest mix marshmallow pumpkins. So not healthy, but nostalgic and so good!
Substitute quality-ingredient sweets or non-food treats in between those super special goodies to keep your little (or big) one healthier this Halloween.
Here are a few ideas:
- Eyeball bouncy balls
- Mandarin orange jack-o-lanterns
- Halloween jewelry – spider rings anyone?
- Silly string
- Halloween toys and games from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground
- Glow sticks
- Homemade gelatin gummies – a quick Google or Pinterest search will give you hundreds of recipes to choose from.
- Candy with quality ingredients meaning no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, MSG or numbered dyes. YumEarth is one clean brand that offers a variety of products including lollipops and gummy worms.
Let us know your healthy(er) Halloween treat ideas in the comments!
I am not affiliated with the companies of any of the products I recommended or linked to in this post.