Just how much candy does your child eat on Halloween? The answer may be the scariest thing you see all season.
Reports estimate that the average child will consume as much as 3 cups of sugar on Halloween! Roughly, that’s 384 grams of sugar, which is nearly 16 times the daily maximum as recommended by the American Heart Association.
But it’s Halloween and it’s only once a year, right? True, but we all know that between classroom parties, neighborhood gatherings, and trick-or-treating it’s really easy to sugar overload before October 31.
Don’t despair! There’s no need for a treat-free Halloween if you consider some alternatives before, during, and even after the holiday has passed.
First, eat a healthy meal before you trick or treat. Next, set a candy consumption limit. Finally, swap out sugar elsewhere. These Halloween candy alternatives are so much fun, your child won’t miss those Reece’s cups!
Make an instant ghost on any white(ish) prepackaged snack item! Draw on eyes and a round mouth with a permanent black marker.
Try this with:
- Cheese sticks
- Vanilla pudding cups
- Honest juice boxes (can also cover any juice box with white paper)
Fruit Mummies (via My Fussy Eater)
If the marker is just too easy, grab some gauze and wrap up all your fruit for a mummy effect! This works perfectly for oranges, bananas, apples or pears.
The Nerd’s Wife also did this with applesauce pouches.
Keep that marker handy, because you can also make a clementine a jack o’lantern! Buy these in bulk at Costco or Sam’s and you’ll have a sweet treat perfect for Halloween.
Or make a mandarin orange fruit cup pumpkin! Flipped upside down with a green pipe cleaner attached as a stem, these are the cutest—and sweetest—gourds around. Get the full tutorial at Eating Richly.
Don’t want to break out the glue gun? Draw lots of different jack o’lantern faces on the fruit cup instead.
Cheese cracker packages also make great stencils for spooky pumpkin faces! If you’re headed to a game on Halloween, pumpkin-fy your orange sports drink too!
If you’re looking for something quick you can grab for the treat bowl, consider these candy alternatives while shopping.
- Granola bars
- Trail mix packages
- Dried fruit
This time of year, you can find most anything with a fall or Halloween theme—or just scour the aisle for packaging that is already orange!
Homemade Halloween Goodness
Quick homemade treats are great alternatives to processed sugar. Plus, if you’re trying to avoid gluten or have food allergies, you’ll no doubt want to make festive treats that are safe for your family.
- Veggie trays are easy—and carrots naturally lend themselves to being arranged like a pumpkin! Or cut the whole bell pepper to look like a jack o’lantern complete with hummus spilling out of his ghastly grin!
- Mini “pumpkin” quesadillas are actually just tortillas and cheese!
- Make your own snack treat bags with popcorn or goldfish and a spooky smile—or put the popcorn in a clear plastic glove!
- Peanut Butter Monster Bites are actually energy balls with just enough candy to make your kids feel like they’re a treat!
Pretty My Party has several Halloween snack ideas that are low sugar and super cute—including Little Frankies made with green grapes and marshmallows.
You don’t need candy to keep the treat in your trick-or-treat this Halloween!