You may think of me as a healthy eater, but I love me some candy. There have been few Halloweens where I haven’t overindulged beyond reason on sticky, chewy, chocolaty sweets. My particular weaknesses are candy corn, Snickers, Milky Ways, Three Musketeers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but I’m a fool for almost anything sugary that comes in a fun-size package. And there was at least one Halloween I remember when our son Solomon ate himself sick (literally, I’m talking candy-colored vomit on the pavement). I don’t know, but maybe it was the combination of stuffing candy in his mouth while running around the neighborhood to collect as many sweets as possible before curfew that made his stomach rebel.
I’m not going to stand up on my Scramble pulpit and say that we need to get the candy out of Halloween. I know some of you may feel differently, and I respect that, but I don’t mind the occasional night of complete decadence. But one of my pet peeves is that young children often celebrate Halloween in school on October 31st with an abundance of sweet treats before spending the evening collecting and consuming fistfuls of candy. Not only do I think it’s just too much sugar for one day, I think it probably makes many kids feel too sick to really enjoy the night of trick-or-treating.
My healthy Halloween philosophy is to fill the kids up with as much natural and healthy stuff during the day to counter-balance all the junk they’ll eat that night. Having co-organized many Halloween class parties, I can tell you that not one child has ever complained about the fun and healthy snacks I’ve contributed. (I find it’s actually some of the parents who have a hard time envisioning class Halloween parties that don’t include candy and frosting.)
Over the years, I’ve collected loads of ideas for festive healthy Halloween snacks for class parties or home that won’t add to the holiday sugar overload. I’ve collected these ideas from other websites, bloggers and some from my own imagination and shared them all here on my Halloween Pinterest board. I hope you find it helpful, and if so, please share it as widely as you’d like.
Before our little witches, goblins, zombies and princesses hit the candy-circuit, we parents can also try to get some warm and healthy food in their bellies to balance out all the sugar. I recommend this week’s Cincinnati Chili as a pre-trick-or-treating meal—you can even have the kids design their own jack-o-lantern faces on top of the chili using orange shredded Cheddar cheese.
I hope you and your family have a safe and joyful healthy Halloween. By the way, I’d love you to share a comment below telling me what Halloween candy you can’t resist sneaking out of your kids’ stashes, or your own favorite healthy-ish Halloween snacks or treats.