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Healthy Trick or Treat options

Halloween parties

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If you’d rather not contribute to the apparent ‘epidemic’ of childhood obesity, or you’re worried about de-railing your own efforts at healthy eating by having loads of sweets in the house, then here are a few healthy Trick or Treat options.

Some of us might not need much of an excuse to duck out of it altogether – it smacks a bit of ‘extortion for beginners’ to some, while others consider it too much of an American import and prefer to stick to traditions with their origins closer to home.  If this sounds like you, then pull the curtains, ignore the doorbell and under no circumstances display any hint of a pumpkin-lantern. (But you’ll also have to explain to your kids why they can’t join in with their friends, and offer a suitable alternative – perhaps a Halloween-themed tea party?)

If you do want to take part – and keep a clear conscience about your young visitors’ diets, and your own – then how about trying some healthier alternatives to the usual handfuls of sweets and chocolates?

The healthy option

You could, of course, go the whole hog and offer fresh fruit to the mini ghosts and ghouls that come knocking at your door. But be warned, this is not what people are expecting so at best you’ll get some funny looks. (And let the voice of experience tell you that 10-year-olds in inner-city Hull don’t take too kindly to clementines.) So this approach might prove ‘tricky’ – literally!

pumpkin carving

Small packs of raisins or other dried fruit might go down better. Or for more of a halfway house option, you could mix these and some small ‘party-bag’ type toys (monster pencil-toppers, squishy spiders, glow in the dark erasers – you know the drill!) in with the sweeties, so the kids can choose or even get a bit of everything.

If you’re sticking with sweets and goodies, then you could choose some with no hidden nasties – for instance the Natural Confectionery Company – rather than the usual additive-laden concoctions. You could plump for super-seasonal toffee apples, balancing the sugar with some fruity goodness. Or take the American festive theme a step further and make popcorn necklaces to hand out.

But to be really sure what’s in your ‘trick or treat’ offerings – and maybe save yourself a bit of cash along the way – how about a spot of baking?  Rice crispy cakes always go down a storm with kids, and you can make them healthier by including some whole-wheat cereal and raisins. Mini cupcakes lend themselves well to some spooky decorations, and you can hide all sorts of good stuff in cake– try carrot cake, banana, or chocolate and courgette.

Tray bakes are a great way to cater in bulk without too much fuss. Cut them up into tiny squares, and they can go a surprisingly long way. Flapjacks are full of great healthy ingredients, and can be dressed up with some drizzled melted chocolate or caramel, and sprinkled with choc chips and dried cranberries.

It is possible to take a healthier approach to ‘trick or treating’. Whichever option you go for, just try to avoid being stuck with lots of leftovers to tempt you from the straight and narrow for days to come. And above all remember it’s meant to be fun, so a few less-than-wholesome treats for the kids, and for you, aren’t such a bad thing, surely!




About Alison McKay

About Alison McKay

Alison McKay is a charity PR professional with over 15 years' experience in full-time, part-time and jobshare roles. Since being made redundant while on maternity leave, she has divided her time between working for a local museum, freelance and volunteer writing, and being chief wrangler to a two-year-old mud-magnet and an almost-seven-year-old wannabe dog-care worker with a penchant for hair accessories. Alison's hobbies include yoga, reading cookery books and putting away just enough clean laundry to keep the pile below 3ft tall.

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