The good news for the kids (and parents) is this: There is no need to avoid any Halloween candies, as that would be no Halloween fun! The trick is to pick healthier yet just as devilishly yummy treats!
Give out fun-size, single-serve treat packs
We all know for a fact that chocolates, sweets, and candies are mostly piled with lots of calories, sugar, and fat. Halloween can still be fun-filled but made healthier by opting for fun-size or miniature-size treats instead of giving out full-sized ones to cut down on the calories, sugar, and fat.
For example, a fun-size pack of our favourite M&M’s milk chocolate contains only 70kcal, 3g fat and 10g sugars*, while a full size M&M’s milk chocolate contains a whopping 240kcal, 10g fat, and 30g sugars*. By swapping from a full-size to fun-size pack of M&M’s milk chocolate, we consume about three times less in the total amount of calories, fats, and sugars!
Jelly beans are sweet, lower-calorie treats
Replace the usual chocolates, chocolate candies, and candies for jelly beans. Jelly beans make a great healthier option as they are still deliciously sweet, yet they do not contain as much calories as the usual chocolates and candies.
Additionally, the chewy characteristic of jelly beans helps satisfy one’s desire to reach for more sweet treats! Each small packet of jelly beans has only about 28kcal, as compared to about 70kcal for a fun-size pack of chocolate candies!
You’re nuts not to give nuts
Nuts make healthier Halloween treats too. Rich in good fats, dietary fibre, and protein, nuts are a nutritious snack good for filling up the tiny tummies, so the kids will cut down on other sweet treats! For a dose of added fun, consider pistachios. Your little ones can enjoy cracking them open!
Raisins and dried fruits
Raisins and dried fruits are tasty, lower caloric alternatives to chocolate and candies too. A mini box of raisins only contains about 45kcal, while a small bar of milk chocolate contains about 250kcal – about 5.5 times more!
Raisins and dried fruits are also rich in beneficial dietary fibre. Studies have shown that kids reported feeling fuller and ate less in their next meal when they snack on raisins.
Flavoured milk over sugared drinks
If you’re planning a Halloween part for kids, hand out flavoured milk instead of sugared drinks to quench their thirst. This also makes a good way to get the kids to drink their milk, so they get the all-important calcium to build strong bones.
Hand out less Halloween treats
One of the major concerns for most parents during Halloween is the sheer volume of sweet treats their kids receive. So aside from making wiser selections of these treats, go less on the quantity too.
Giving away sweet treats is not the only fun activity during Halloween. Come out with a whole list of fun-filled Halloween games and activities, and spend this day bonding with your family and friends.
By Jean Tong, nutritionist, Halley Medical Aesthetics