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Healthier treats for Halloween

For years, when we had a Central Washington apple farm in the family, we’d give out apples for Halloween. After that, I passed out popcorn in wax paper bags.

Halloween 081 Lately, I’ve been dispensing small boxes of raisins. However, my daughter told me recently that she thinks raisins are a lame Halloween treat.

She suggested a toy, but I wouldn’t consider that because of the possible toxins in toys. One in three toys tested recently by The Ecology Center were found to contain "medium" or "high" levels of chemicals.

Halloween pencils or stickers are other ideas she had.

You don’t have to be a “sugar pusher” on this nationally sanctioned Sugar Overload Day, says Connie Bennett, writing on the Sugar Shock! Blog.

Ideas for nonfood treats
  • Hair clips and hair bands for girls
  • Key chains
  • Children’s magazines or comic books
  • Bottles of bubbles
  • Fake money
  • Used books
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Jump rope
  • Small deck of playing cards
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Coupons from a yogurt store or juice bar
Ideas for school supplies
  • Pencil toppers
  • Pens
  • Erasers
  • Colorful paperclips
  • Paper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Washable markers
  • Ruler
  •  Coin purse
Ideas for healthier food treats
  • Cereal bar, but watch the sugar level
  • Snack packets of pretzels, nuts, and seeds
  • Trail mix
  • Individual juice drinks of 100 percent juice
  • Animal crackers
  • Hot chocolate or apple cider packets
  • Packages of low-fat crackers with cheese fillings
  • Gold fish crackers
  • Snack pack pudding
  • Applesauce
If you choose candy for treats, look for those that are lower in fat and sugar.

Choose bite-size candy bars based on the least amount of fat and calories per serving, recommends Clemson Extension in the article “Healthy Halloween Treats.”

Better choices are: 3 Musketeers; 100 Grand Bar; Butterfinger; Milky Way; Raisinets; Starburst, and York Peppermint Patties. In addition, consider healthier dark chocolate versions.

Happy Halloween!

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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