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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Happy Healthy Halloween: Candy Alternatives For The Kiddies

How do you hand out treats without overloading kids with sugar? Here are 5 ideas for Halloween which will have the ghosts and goblins lining up at your door!

glowing jack-o-lantern

Photo: sth (flickr)

If you do want to make a homemade treat, keep it something simple, and add a label with your name and phone number on it.

Ah, Trick or Treat! We organize our night weeks ahead of time, because it is the one time of year that my kids get to eat a LOT of sweet treats.

The only rule is that they have to eat it all that day. The day after Halloween, the treats disappear.

We go only on the route that we are familiar with, so I wouldn’t hesitate allowing my kids to eat a homemade snack from any of our stops. Not everyone is so lucky.

What do you do if you want to hand out treats, but also want to try and bring a little less sugar to the table? Here are five ideas for Halloween night, which will have the ghosts and goblins lining up at your door!

1. Mix Your Own Treat

The biggest problem with alternative treats is that nervous parents usually throw anything out that isn’t in store packaging. If you have to give treats to a lot of kids, a way around this is to combine a few prepackaged single items that can be mixed together when the kids get home. We have done this with great success, using small boxes of pretzels, nuts and raisins. Then include a spooky themed tag, with the *recipe* written on it. We call this Monster Mash.

2. Scary Seeds

seed packet

Photo: WFIU

Printable seed packets. Save this image to your computer and print out multiple copies per page. Kids will love the idea of growing their own scary pumpkins!

Print out seed packets and put one or two pumpkin seeds inside. Save your own seeds from the pumpkin you carved this year. Add a spooky pumpkin sticker to close. Label it with the words Grow Your Own Jack O Lantern. Kids will love the idea of growing their own scary pumpkins, and the seeds will keep just fine in the packets until spring.

3. Sweet Magical Wands

Honey sticks are available at health food stores and online, for pennies each. They are actually less expensive than candy bars, and you can make fun magical wands, by cutting out star shapes of construction paper, attaching two stars together, leaving one small bit open to slip the end of the honey stick inside. Cute, healthy, and easy to make.

4. Add A Recipe

Doesn’t it drive you nuts to buy something that you KNOW you can make healthier? That is how I feel about packaged bars and cookies. If you are giving out a store bought cookie, how about adding a recipe for your own version to the treat? Parents will appreciate the effort, and the kids will appreciate the home baked treat. Here is a filled oatmeal cookie that is easy and healthy:

5. Make It And Label It

If you do want to make a homemade treat, keep it something simple, and add a label with your name and phone number on it. An address sticker folded over the stick or attached directly to the wrapper you use. Although there has never been a case of poisoning from Halloween candy, the fear has been around for years. Offering the reassurance of your contact information can help.

Rhubarb Jam Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups old fashioned oats
Rhubarb jam

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Add all dry ingredients except oats to wet mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add oats and stir until combined.
  5. Scoop balls of dough onto cookie sheets and press a well into the center of each cookie.
  6. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Once cooled, fill center with jam.

More from Earth Eats: How To Have A Safe And Sustainable Halloween!

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Amy Jeanroy

Amy Jeanroy lives on a small family farm in Nebraska. She and her family raise organic produce, milk, eggs and meat for sale. When she is not tending to the goats and gardens, Amy works as a freelance writer on gardening and green living topics, with a frugal touch. She is the Herb Gardens Guide for About.com, as well as the author of Canning and Preserving For Dummies, 2nd edition, 2009.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADWNPV5SJP6VXTNJSTC7QEPLQY Kristine Serna

    This alternative are surely a great treat for kids during this season. They can enjoy the snacks and surely it would be considered as a kids healthy snack.

  • http://nerdgasm.storenvy.com/ Melllic

    A year ago I designed a Halloween themed papercraft which I sell at a local events. We had some left over and handed them out last Halloween, the little kiddies were so excited for something different, so I decided to start selling papercaft handouts for others who are looking to hand out something new.

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