Make Trick-or-Treating Healthy
Halloween brings out the kid in all of us. It's fun to get dressed up in a costume and parade around the neighborhood or go to a party. Treats are a part of the fun. However, treats don't have to be sticky, gooey candy.
When gathering the treats you will offer this year think about some possible low- calorie, low-fat options. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking:
· Sugar-free gum
· Cheese sticks
· Juice box packages
· Small packages of nuts or raisins
· Package of instant cocoa mix
· Peanuts in the shell
You could also consider giving some non-food treats such as stickers, balloons, crayons, pencils, colored chalk, erasers, whistles, baseball cards, rubber spiders or worms. A friend of mine used to give nickels, in today's economy that may need to be dimes.
Before kids leave for trick-or-treating make sure they eat a healthy snack or light meal. Make sure children eat a meal or snack before going trick-or-treating so they won't be tempted to dig into their bag of goodies before they get home.
When children get home, check the treats and keep only treats which are unopened. Be sure to inspect fruits and homemade goods for anything suspicious.
It's better to eat trick-or-treat candy over several days as a substitute for dessert or a few pieces along with a healthy snack.
Having a party for your children and a few friends can reduce safety concerns. Some nutritious treats for your party could include popcorn, apples, grapes, bananas, unshelled peanuts, and not-too-sweet cookies.
Kids could help with making the treats like "Pizza Faces." Let kids arrange sliced olives, green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, and other things on English muffins brushed with tomato sauce. Top with grated cheese for "hair" and heat in the microwave or oven until the cheese melts.
Source: University of Illinois Extension Food for Thought Newsletter