It's not that fun-sized pieces of Halloween candy contain up to 80 sugary calories, according to USA Today. It's that a dozen pieces in one sitting can really add up, particularly for small children. Halloween party favors don't have to be unhealthy, and they don't have to be edible. Find healthy treats decorated in the spirit of the holiday.
Children enjoy dyed hard-boiled eggs for Easter, so there's no reason why this healthy snack can't take center stage at a Halloween party. Die eggs orange to make ghost heads and cover them with gauzy material to make an ethereal spirit. In addition to eggs, turkey and beef jerky are hearty protein treats kids may enjoy. Wrap them in napkins decorated like pumpkins if you can't find Halloween-themed treats. Pumpkin seeds are another rich source of protein that celebrate the holiday. Make freshly roasted pumpkin seeds and include them in a healthy trail mix along with orange candy-coated peanuts.
Popcorn is full of fiber. Improve this traditional Halloween treat by substituting low-fat popcorn and replacing the corn syrup with brown sugar in your favorite recipe. Whole-grain cereal bars are good sources of fiber when filled with apples, an autumn harvest fruit. Whole fruits such as kumquats and pears provide fiber, but dried fruits are even better. You need not limit dried fruit to raisins, according to Self Nutritional Data. Try dried apples, persimmons, orange peels and bananas as well.
Carrots and other vegetables are healthy snacks kids like, but they may not be welcome as a replacement for more traditional Halloween goodies. Attach sliced almonds to vegetables to turn baby carrots into monster fingers for a scary party favor. Celery is another kid-friendly favorite. Stuff celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins to them to make spiders on a log. Or bake thick sweet potato chips and put individual servings in orange cellophane bags.
Cookies can be included among Halloween favors if you watch the serving size. As a base for Halloween decorations, select cookies that are low in sugar. Remember, when you decorate cookies, you add even more sugar. A thin chocolate wafer such as those served with ice cream works well; these cookies have only a few grams of sugar and less than 30 calories each. You only need one and a tube of decorator icing to make a spider web cookie favor. Purchase graham and other lower-sugar cookies and crackers in individual serving sizes to add to a Halloween favor stash.
Toys such as fake spiders and other spooky critters are fun, but for a healthy Halloween favor select small toys that keep kids physically and mentally active. For example, include a box of chalk for hopscotch or a paddle-and-ball set. Buy mini puzzle games such as color or number block cubes. Sudoku books are a fun way to practice and learn logic. Look for items with Halloween-themed colors.
- "USA Today"; Trick-or-Treaters' Halloween Candy Often Picked Off by Parents; Nancy Hellmich; October 2010
- Parenting.com; Easy Halloween Crafts, Favors and Games
- American Pop Corn Company; Dulce De Leche Popcorn Balls
- Baby Zone; Health Halloween Treats: Creative Goodies for a Halloween Partys; Deborah Rycus
- The George Mateljan Foundation; Pumpkin Seeds, Raw
- Self Nutrition Data; Foods Highest in Dietary Fiber
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images