Halloween and candy go together like pumpkin-flavored treats and the fall season. In fact, when you mention Halloween, the first thought that crosses many minds is all of the candy that is typically consumed. While there is nothing wrong with partaking in some candy on Halloween, some people want to avoid it altogether for health or personal reasons. Halloween can be just as fun and just as tasty sans candy. Here are the best non-candy, tooth-healthy Halloween treats:
Sugar-free gum generates saliva, which helps in removing food particles in the mouth. The best sugar-free gum is sweetened with Xylitol which has been shown to reduce bacteria in the mouth. These days, Xylitol-sweetened sugar-free gum comes in an array of flavors that can appease a sweet tooth without having to reach for a piece of candy. If you find yourself needing at least one piece of candy on Halloween, chewing a piece of sugarless gum afterwards can help reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria on the teeth.
Natural Fruit Leather
If you still need a “candy fix,” natural fruit leather is a fantastic option. While it is sticky and sugary, it is a better option than artificially-flavored candies and has naturally occurring sugar.
Local Honey Sticks
Honey is a sweet treat that has added health benefits like acting as a sleep aid or a cough remedy (which may come in handy when temperatures begin to plummet).
Fruit may be deemed “nature’s candy,” but the right veggies certainly have their way of hitting a sweet tooth effectively. Make a play on candy corn by layering a chopped yellow bell pepper, baby carrots, and cauliflower and serve with a hollowed-out pumpkin filled with hummus or your favorite vegetable dip.
Paleo Bakery Items
Pastries or cakes that sport a “paleo” label are lower in added sugars and typically use healthier flours than their sugar-laden counterparts. Paleo items have come so far that you or your children may not even realize that you are eating a “healthier” option.
Another healthy, sweet treat is the oh-so-popular clementine. Resembling an orange, but much smaller in appearance, the clementine is peeled and a small piece of celery is stuck in the middle taking on the appearance of a pumpkin “stem.” It is an easy, healthy, Halloween-themed treat.
Individually Packaged Fruits or Veggies
While you have more freedom if you are attending a party or are entertaining at home, when it comes to trick-or-treating, you need fully sealed items to hand out. If you are opting for healthy, non-candy-based items, consider sealed apple slices or bags or baby carrots.
Halloween doesn’t just have to be sweet; it can be savory as well. String cheese is an easy snack that can be taken on the go and can easily be ingested as you make your way through your local city’s pumpkin patch.
Individual tubs of yogurt or squeezable yogurt is another great, tooth-healthy option. For added reassurance, be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. If you are making a sweet treat for yourself at home, forego flavored yogurt, opt for plain, and add in natural sugars like frozen blueberries or sliced banana.
Things like crackers, apple chips, and pretzels are great alternatives to candy, easy to consume, and come in individually-wrapped packages that make distributing to trick-or-treaters easy and safe. An added bonus is that a lot of food production companies package their materials in Halloween-themed packaging making the treats not only tasty, but eye-catching as well. Pair this with single-serving peanut butter packets for a tasty, healthy, well-rounded Halloween treat.
Bonus: Xylitol-Based Candies
While this is still a form of candy, if you simply cannot part with the idea of consuming candy on Halloween, give candy sweetened with Xylitol a try. You can find Xylitol-sweetened candies in the candy aisle of most grocery stores.
Halloween does not have to be centered around candy. If your child has an allergy or if you would prefer to offer healthier alternatives to your guests, there are plenty of healthy, tooth-friendly options that you have at your disposal. Remember to buy individually-wrapped food items if you plan on passing them out to children and to let parents know if the treats contain popular allergens like peanuts.