Every parent knows the struggle: come Halloween, the kids return with buckets, bags, and pillowcases laden with high sugar, high calorie, high fat treats.
Only, it’s not just the night of October 31st anymore. Seasonal creep is a real thing: the entire month of October becomes a nonstop Halloween extravaganza, treats included. With fall parties and gatherings popping up out of the woodwork, kids and parents alike are a little maxed out on sugar by the time the actual event rolls around.
While most of us would love to have our cake (or candy) and eat it too, the number of Calories and sugar consumed through the fall and winter months can wreak serious havoc from the perspective of weight and health.
It’s important to remember that even in the absence of overweight/obesity, consuming too much sugar increases risk for future heart disease, Type II diabetes, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, and unnecessary weight gain.
The maximum recommendation for added sugar is 25g/day, but most of us consume far more: 3.2 times more, to be exact.
With that being said, we know that suggesting healthier treats for trick or treaters doesn’t exactly go over so well.
Luckily, we’ve got a few fun ideas if you want to minimize the prospect of leftovers, or simply reduce the amount of sugar you send home with your guests.
1. Go for one bite candies.
Jolly ranchers, tootsie rolls, and other one bite hard candies contain much less sugar and far fewer Calories than mini, fun, or bite size chocolate candy.
A fun size Snickers bar, for example, contains 80 Calories and 8.5 g sugar, while a Jolly Rancher contains 25 Calories and 3.7 g sugar.
2. Offer portable hydration!
Offer mini bottles of zero Calorie beverages to hydrate trick or treaters! Mini bottles of flavored sparkling water, Powerade Zero, or water bottles with single serve Crystal Light packages attached can help hydrate thirsty trick or treaters while they make the rounds.
3. Go the non-candy route.
Stickers, rubber bracelets, shaped erasers, bouncy balls, silly straws, and other fun, pocket sized toys make great additions to a Halloween bucket! Hit up your local party or dollar store for mini Halloween inspired toys and gifts.