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Make Halloween a Healthier Holiday

Halloween is an exciting time for kids — from choosing their costumes to anticipating the treats they’ll collect from neighbors. Healthy eating habits don’t have to be abandoned. Here are some healthier options for treats to consider. 

Make smart candy choices

Full-size candy bars end up providing an alarming amount of fat and sugar. Smart candy choices can reduce how much of those unhealthy ingredients your kids consume from their stockpile this Halloween. 

Reading nutrition labels  will help you select candies with lower quantities of calories, fat and added sugar. Even one fun size bar can have large amounts of all three. Our “Choose this, Not that” guide to popular candy options can get you started. 

Alternatives to candy

Not all families feel comfortable handing out candy of any kind on Halloween. Instead, give out edibles that are higher in vitamins, minerals or fiber, for example:
•    Raisins
•    Oranges
•    Pretzels
•    Popcorn 
•    Trail mix
•    Animal crackers
These snacks  also make good additions to the school lunchbox after Halloween. 

Treats you don’t eat

Skipping edible treats, regardless of their level of nutritional value, doesn’t mean your house can’t be a fun stop on Halloween. How about:
•    Plastic spider rings
•    Glow jewelry
•    Crayons
•    Stickers
•    Temporary tattoos
•    Toothbrushes
•    Bubble soap 
Avoid items that could be choking hazards for small children or that may have any harmful ingredients. 

Healthy Snacks for Grownups

Stovetop Popcorn with Chili Powder and Dark Chocolate
A little sweet, a little spicy, this treat is easy to make and good for you. Find the recipe at http://cookieandkate.com/2012/how-to-make-stovetop-popcorn/, and visit cookieandkate.com for more healthy meal and snack recipes. 

Spooky Veggie Tray
Design your crudité into a scary skeleton to make veggies more exciting. Choose hummus for a healthy dip option. Check out californiagrown.org for crafty ways to present other foods this Halloween. 



Follow these tips for safe trick-or-treating from the American Red Cross:
1. Use only flame-resistant costumes.
2. Plan the route and ensure a responsible adult accompanies young children.
3. For visibility, use flashlights, add reflective tape to costumes and treat bags, and wear light-colored clothing.
4. Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
5. Use face paint instead of masks to keep vision clear.
6. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. Don’t cut across yards or between parked cars.
7. Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.
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