Candy is everywhere this time of year — from your weekly grocery trip to your Target runs. There are usually several candy aisles full of sugary Halloween treats, and it can seem impossible to get away from them. The bad news, your kids are going to spot the candy the minute you walk through the doors, so proceed with caution. The good news, you CAN survive the Halloween season (and the rest of the holiday season) by making some healthier swaps to help keep the kids’ sugar intake in check. Here are six tips on making this sugary Halloween season a little less spooky.
6 Ways to Keep The Sugar Intake In Check This Halloween
1. Choose Treats That Are Less Sweet
Have you seen all the yummy low-sugar candy lately? Brands such as Smart Sweets are starting to cater to those looking for a tasty way to celebrate this sweet Halloween season without all the added sugar. If your kids want a sugary treat, try using low-sugar options. They’ll never know the difference!
2. Don’t Make It All About Candy
You can start making Halloween more about the fun seasonal activities this time of year! Think pumpkin carving, visiting local pumpkin patches, crafts, and activities. There are countless other ways to celebrate this fun holiday that doesn’t involve tons of added sugar. Plus, you’ll get to keep all the photos and cute crafts for years to come!
3. DIY Your Own Healthier Treats
Get creative and make some tasty Halloween treats without added sugar. Try dipping a sliced clementine in 70% or darker dark chocolate. Or slice up an apple and let the kids dip it in yogurt or caramel sauce. If you like to bake, try cutting the sugar by choosing a natural sweetener like raw honey or pure maple syrup. Coconut sugar is another option and mixes easily into anything you would usually use regular old table sugar.
4. Make a Halloween Basket
Putting together a Halloween basket that doesn’t include candy is a great way to help keep your kid’s sugar intake much lower this time of year. It will also help you steer clear of added sugar, too (stealing candy is a universal mom problem!). You might even be surprised to see how much more excited your kids are to get a Halloween basket vs. a bag full of candy. Don’t forget to check out the dollar section at Target this time of year for some great Halloween snags!
5. Use Alternative Treats
You can participate in Halloween parties or trick-or-treating with zero candy in many different ways. Think about passing out non-candy items to trick-or-treaters (their parents will thank you). And if you have leftover goodies, you won’t be stuck with a bunch of sugary candy! Here are some ideas for non-candy treats:
- Halloween stickers
- Coloring books & crayons
- Halloween pretzels or crackers
- New colored pencils (or your child’s favorite art supplies)
- Clementine’s (use these to make chocolate-dipped clementines for a healthier treat!)
6. Offer a Trade-In Program
Offer your kids a trade-in program for their trick-or-treat stash. Have your kids pick out a set number of candy pieces to keep. Then take the rest of the loot away with a promise of getting them a new book or small toy instead. There are even programs to which you can donate Halloween candy (for example, here). A lot of dentists have these programs.
Don’t Get Spooked About Halloween Sugar
While there’s sugar temptation every which way we look this time of year, there are plenty of ways to keep the fun of the season without totally overdoing the sugar intake. It’s a fun time of year to enjoy with your kiddos; they will remember the fun more than how much candy they ate. So don’t stress, mama! Stick to your low- or no-sugar guns and have a healthier, but still as wonderful, Halloween!