Saturday, October 28, 2017

Healthy Habits: Healthier Halloween Treats

 Fall is in the air. Halloween is just a few days away. The stores have their Halloween decorations and Halloween candy out. Halloween is the biggest day for candy in America. Yet many parents are trying to combat the sweet tooth of Halloween. They are looking for healthier alternatives to candy. Others are interested in healthy candy. So, what are some good and tasty alternatives to traditional Halloween candy? If you are doing candy, what is the healthiest kind to give out? I had a chance to interview Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and CEO of the Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking (NAMED) program. 

What are some non-food alternatives to Halloween candy?
Small containers of play-dough, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, temporary tattoos, and plastic jewelry, these are all healthy options that promote activity and creative play.

What are some of the worst offenders when it comes to candy?
Mainstream candy is pretty bad, the cheap quality of hydrogenated oils, the dangerous colored dyes and the potent syrups used for sweeteners are nothing like homemade candy. First avoid candy with colored dyes that are not natural, then avoid hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.  There are other offenders, but those three are the worst. 

How can parents shift kids' thinking to a less sugary holiday?
Keep them busy with activities and avoid centering everything around food.  Scroll for healthy alternatives of their favorite treats and make them together. 

What can parents hand out that is a better, yet still tasty, alternative to candy?

1.     Newman’s Own chocolate- organic chocolate with no additives or high fructose corn syrup
2.     Annie’s Organic fruit snacks ( Vegan; gelatin free, fat free; and naturally gluten free “No additives or preservatives, Certified organic; made with real fruit juice, Four delicious, all natural flavors in every pouch: Berry Patch, Sunny Citrus, Tropical Treat, Summer Strawberry
3.     Pirate Booty (these gluten free cheese puffs are a great alternative to candy and come in individual servings perfect for handing out on Halloween)
4.     Planters nut and seed trail mix – rich in healthy fats, and reduced in sugar
5.     Earth Balls Fair trade milk chocolate – Great tasting fair trade chocolate balls that are wrapped in paper that looks like the earth.
6.     Pure Fun Fruit Rocks (These delicious hard candies are made with organic ingredients and real fruit juice, and come in unique flavors such as Goji Berry, Pomegranate and Green Apple.)
7.     Yummy Earth Organic Lolly Pops – (Yummy Earth lollipops are USDA certified-organic, contain no artificial colors or corn syrup and are available in 20 flavors such as Pomegranate Pucker, TooBerry Blueberry and Strawberry Smash.)
8.     Endangered Species Bug Bites – (These bite-size squares of organic milk chocolate come with insect trading card from Endangered Species Chocolate, which not only sells organic and Fair Trade treats, but also donates 10% of profits to wildlife conservation)
9.     Betty Lou’s Organic Golden Smackers.  (Betty Lou’s makes super-satisfying nut butter balls, and their Golden Smackers- organic chocolate peanut butter patties)
10.  Equal Exchange Mini chocolates – If you’re expecting to give out a lot of candy this year, these organic chocolates could be the right choice. Made with high-quality ingredients from farmers’ cooperatives in South America. 

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