By John Salak –
Let’s face it. Dishing out Halloween treats for the socially and nutritionally conscious has become a nightmare. Yeah, you can go full-blown boring and give out scary-themed toothbrushes, Cookie Monster stress balls or something that’s “healthy” but doesn’t have a lick of taste. But what fun is that? And forget about handing out unwrapped anything or plopping apples, pears or oranges in a Treat or Treat bag. Those days disappeared just after The Beaver (aka Jerry Matthers) arrived in Khe Sahn.
And if trying to limit high-sugar handouts isn’t daunting enough, remember you’re facing a seemingly growing number of trick or treaters who have food allergies, which puts a damper on handing out treats that contain nuts, gluten, eggs, dairy, melon extracts and more. So what’s the solution to this Halloween candy crisis other than pulling in your pumpkins, turning out your lights and pretending you’re not at home? Well, there probably isn’t a single solution but there are ways to make your home a relatively safe and rewarding stop on Halloween.
On the food allergy front Missy (Berggren) Voronyak of marketingmama.com suggests avoiding anything with chocolate and nuts (think Kat Kats, Snickers, Reese’s, etc.). She also advises against handing out Tootsie Rolls, Sweets Tarts and Life Savers, among other flavored candies. The good news is that candies such as Skittles, Dots, Smarties and licorice are safer in terms of allergies but can be high in sugar.
Superhealthykids.com takes a wider approach to Halloween candy crisis, noting that food allergies isn’t the only issue in play. Treat givers need to consider dye sensitivities and dental health considerations when they plop something in a zombie or monster’s bag.
Fortunately, this wellness site offers of a range of healthy edible and non-food Halloween treat options to consider, including applesauce pouches, mini raisin boxes, Annie’s Whole Wheat Bunnies, Clif Kid ZBars, snack packs of roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds, banana chips and more.
There are even more feel-good options on what’s wise to dish out at Halloween thanks and a growing number of companies that specialize in supplying cartons of gluten-free health snacks for this horror holiday. If you have trouble finding them, just visit Amazon’s Halloween store and start searching for healthy Halloween snacks and see what comes up.
Still unsure whether you’re ready to entirely give up on Kit Kats, Snickers, Crunch Bars and Reese’s at Halloween? That’s okay too. Provide alternatives. Set up separate selections of traditional fare that is clearly marked and another bowl of treats for those (parents or trick or treaters) wanting healthier, allergy-proof alternatives.
Ultimately, don’t let the Halloween candy crisis get your knickers in a twist. Have some fun and make sure everyone who comes to your door on Halloween has the same—which includes a healthy and safe ending.