Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Have a Healthy Halloween

Not to scare you…but Halloween is just around the corner and it’s just the tip of the iceberg of the holiday season. It seems to just ramp up from October all the way through to spring. Getting started on a healthy note can make staying on track through the end of the year and beyond just a little bit easier for the whole family.

When I was a kid I was a huge fan of the candy swap I always did with my brother after getting home from trick-or-treating. I would ALWAYS take the dark chocolate off his hands. My parents were very good about what we did with our candy after that. It went into the freezer in the basement. We could have one or two pieces after dinner but that was it. Being kids we remembered the candy for a few days then promptly forgot and moved on to other important kid things. I’m not sure, (mom post a comment if I’m off base here) but I think at some point after Christmas mom ditched the freezer burned candy as we were paying attention to our newly acquired Cabbage Patch Kids with Halloween a distant memory.

It’s a great strategy to limit the treats but not make them off limits. Plus, there are lots of other ways to enjoy a healthy Halloween and make your trick-or-treat night a bit better for you, your kids and the neighborhood kids too.

At home you can make all kinds of fun spooky treats that taste great, look super creepy and aren’t full of mystery ingredients. Pumpkin pie popcorn balls – canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and some date paste combined and warmed, mix in popped popcorn then form into balls; apple spiders — sliced apples topped with peanut butter, add raisins for eyes and pretzel sticks for legs; black bean brownies cut in bat and witch hat shapes. There are lots of fun ways to cut down on sugar but still enjoy some unexpected and not so scary treats with friends.

If you want to avoid handing out candy altogether here are a few things you can pass out to the trick-or-treaters that they’ll like and you can feel good about giving.

  • Stickers
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Small bags of pretzels
  • Spider rings
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Small boxes of raisins
  • 100% juice boxes
  • Bouncy balls
  • Silly post cards
  • Toothbrushes?!

In my neighborhood there was a dentist who would give away toothbrushes along with a friendly reminder to brush after eating and before bed. I was not such a fan in my youth, but man I totally get it now.

Don’t feel trapped by conventional options for any holiday. We have lots of tips, tricks and recipes to make all of your holidays healthier, we promise to keep the ideas coming. Start the holidays with a Healthy Halloween keep it rolling into the New Year

Do you hand out something other than candy for Halloween? Share with us in the comments below.