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Healthier Tricks and Treats

Trick or treat is right around the corner and so many of us have been walking the aisles to find the perfect assortment bags to add to our stash. But what if I told you that Halloween and festive treats do not always have to be sugar-filled candies and chocolates and instead can be fun, safe and good for our bodies? There are so many reasons it is worth exploring alternatives to candy, or at least a balanced offering of both, including food allergies, increased sugar consumption and even cavities.

Let’s talk about the sweet stuff first. The overconsumption of sugar, which is a high probability for our committed trick or treaters, will cause blood sugar spikes that can lead to nausea, increased thirst, headaches, dizziness and even trick your appetite into overeating. Sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, and other unidentifiable ingredients are not easy for your body to digest but are what make up most of the Halloween candy we purchase. It will leave you, and your little ones, feeling yucky, making bedtime and the days after feel more like a trick than a treat.

If you don’t want to skip the candy completely, consider offering vegan candy to reduce the allergy exposure. A few mainstream offerings to consider are Skittles, Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, Smarties, and Dum-Dums. Or check out one of our local health food stores to pick up a few specialty treats like Enjoy Life products, Yum Earth lollipops, Wholesome gummies, or be the most talked about house on the block and offer full-size Eating Evolved chocolate bars.

As for cavities, my dentist told me to go ahead and let your kiddo (or yourself!) indulge in some candy treats in one sitting – and then brush your teeth immediately after – it is the best way to avoid cavities. The next morning check out what dentists in your area are doing a candy buy-back where they will offer a toy or activity in exchange for the candy collection – now that sounds like a treat!

Ready to skip the candy completely? There are so many alternatives you can offer that will make the ghouls, ghosts, and goblins excited. Try pencils, pens, stamps, erasers, notebooks, bubbles, stickers, or temporary tattoos. You will be surprised by the number of kids that choose these treats over the candy offerings. If you do put out non-candy items, place a teal pumpkin outside your door or near your table of offerings to indicate that you are allergy friendly. Additionally, consider registering with the Teal Pumpkin Project to let other parents know it is safe for their little monster to come by.

Dressing up, running around with friends and enjoying a night of spirited fun is good for the soul and with a few tweaks to our normal habits we can make it just as good for our bodies!

A special treat for you - kick off this Halloween season by asking your little one to count the number of tricks and treats throughout this article!

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