Tag Archives: trick or treat

Candy corn in a bowl

Cooking Light Points Trick-or-Treaters (and Parents) to Healthier Halloween Candy

Cooking Light magazine October 2011

The October issue of Cooking Light magazine features the best candy choices for kids.

Fellow sweet tooth-ers, it’s that time of the year (OK, so another one) when we’re tempted by the fruits–er, sweets–of another sugar-laden season. Yes, for those of us with a weakness for chocolates and other candies, Halloween begins the slippery slope down which we tumble all the way to the Christmas holidays. Or is that just me speaking for myself?

Based on some numbers shared in Everyday Food’s October 2011 issue, I don’t think so. According to the digest-sized magazine, we collectively spent $2 billion (yes, billion) on Halloween candy last year. And 70 percent of parents admitted skimming chocolates from their kids’ trick-or-treating loot. (No word on the percentage of older sisters who ‘fessed up to doing the same to their younger brothers, but certainly they–or at least I–did.)

So far this season, I’ve given in to candy corn, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, York Peppermint Patties and a mixed bag of assorted “fun size” candies (ahem, mostly chocolates). Some of them–actually most, thank you very much–were purchased to be used in some Halloween treat recipes. (Speaking of which, I should probably get going on those before I eat all the ingredients.)

That much sugar can’t be good, I’m sure, but by paying attention to the nutritional information–or better yet, Cooking Light’s “Halloween Treat Picker” in its October 2011 issue, can help you make smart choices for yourself or the little ghosts and goblins who knock on your door on Halloween.

The nutritional magazine’s grid plots candies according to saturated fat, sugar content and calories. My treats were all over the place, though most were heavier on the sugar and about even on the more vs. less saturated fat scale. Guess I’ll just have to make some better candy choices next time I’m at the supermarket. For the trick-or-treaters, of course.

Halloween trick or treat at a doorstep

4 Non-Food Treat Ideas for Halloween

Halloween trick or treat at a doorstepOur neighborhood is a popular one on Halloween each year. There is only one entrance and exit to our little neighborhood, and there is a playground in the middle. Parents from nearby neighborhoods often drop their children to trick-or-treat and then meet them in the playground to head home with their haul.

Candy is and always will be the most popular treat among kids, but many parents are appreciative to find sugar-free goodies of the non-edible kind in their kids’ sacks too. And with food allergies in children seemingly on the rise, you just never know which ghost or goblin at your door might not be allowed to eat the tasty treats you’re giving out.

If you’d like to spare your favorite neighborhood kids the extra sugar, calories and allergic reactions this year, here are four, fun, non-food treat alternatives:

  1. Puzzles/games. Playing cards. Bouncing balls. Jigsaw puzzles. All can add to the evening of fun after the candy has been eaten.
  2. Movie tickets. They could get pricey to buy for everyone, but my two favorite neighbor kids are going to get them. I hope they’ll see something silly and fun!
  3. School supplies. Pencils with bats on them and erasers shaped like pumpkins. Such school supplies–which can easily be bought in bulk–will last much longer than Halloween itself.
  4. Stickers or temporary tattoos. When kids get home and go through their goodie bags, they’ll have fun putting the stickers on their bags, in sticker books and on their notebooks for school.

Last year I handed out playing cards and old-fashioned candy, but I haven’t decided what to hand out this year. What will you be giving to your neighborhood trick-or-treaters?