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4 Tricky Treats to Avoid on Halloween (and 4 that Are Great to Give)

As the days get shorter, the leaves start to turn, and an autumnal chill creeps into the air, the sun sets on another summer. This means that spooky season is right around the corner. Cobwebs, skeletons, and jack-o’-lanterns adorn our houses, and on October 31 kids will take to the streets dressed as goblins, ghouls, princesses, and their favorite superheroes.

Sugary treats are unavoidable on Halloween, but that doesn’t mean that all treats are created equally. Here are some tricky treats to avoid this Halloween and some healthier alternatives to keep your children happy and healthy.

  • BAD TRICK—Chocolate Bars: While they’re some of the most popular handouts on Halloween, candy bars like Snickers and Milky Way are loaded with sugar, calories, and processed chemicals that are bad for growing bodies.
  • GOOD TREAT—Granola Bars: Granola bars offer some of the same delicious flavors of kids’ favorite snacks—including chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter—in a much healthier package including fruit, nuts, and fiber.
  • BAD TRICK—Jolly Ranchers: These and other fruit-flavored hard candies might be a favorite among children, but they have no nutritional value and are terrible for a child’s teeth.
  • GOOD TREAT—Fruit: It isn’t called nature’s candy for nothing. Along with being sweet—thanks to naturally occurring fructose—fruits are packed with important vitamins and minerals.
  • BAD TRICK—M&M’s: M&M’s are a Halloween staple, but are loaded with sugar. Consider going with the peanut or dark chocolate varieties if you decide to hand them out this Halloween.
  • GOOD TREAT—Trail Mix: Not only is trail mix a great source of vitamins, minerals, iron, and fiber, but it also satisfies any sweet or savory cravings your child might have. Customize your trail mixes to include your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate to make it delicious and nutritious.
  • BAD TRICK—Bags of Chips, Pretzels, and Popcorn: These salty snacks might come in fun Halloween shapes and sizes, but they offer very little nutritional benefit, are high in sodium, and are full of empty carbs.
  • GOOD TREAT—Organic Juice Boxes: Natural fruit juice is a sweet treat that provides a variety of vitamins and minerals and offers kids a chance to rehydrate after a long night of trick or treating. Be aware of artificial sweeteners and high sugar content in brand-name juice boxes.

At the end of the day (or night), Halloween is a holiday for a little bit of splurging. As with all good things, moderation is key. Instead of letting your child eat their entire haul in one night, spread their candy out over the course of the next month as lunchtime snacks or after-dinner treats.