Let's face it. We're going to eat the Halloween candy, right? I know I will. No matter how hard I try I just can't resist. This pending sugar fest got me thinking about some better, more nutritious alternatives that will still satisfy my sweet tooth. Google "healthy Halloween treats" and you'll get thousands of ideas in an instant. But sifting through the results I was disturbed by the liberal use of the term "healthy" (e.g. Twizzlers vs. Gummy Bears...really??). Here are my favorite delicious ideas and why they work.
FREAKY FRUIT - Research shows that kids crave a greater number of colors on their plate as compared to adults and that arranging foods in designs increases their chances of trying foods they otherwise wouldn't touch. Stick a bowl of fruit in front of Johnny on Halloween and he's likely to just pull his mask over his face and recoil in horror. Add faces to that fruit and display it in a creative way and he's more likely to bite. By the way, this can work on picky adults too!
Caramel Apple "Pops" - Put just about anything on a stick and we'll eat it. Why? I don't know. There's just something about a portable nibble that makes it more appealing. I like the concept of a slim alternative to traditional caramel apples. But the ones pictured are coated in lots of stuff. I suggest decreasing the overall sugar content by making them with just a drizzle of caramel and nutrient, antioxidant rich dark chocolate and adding a sprinkle of chopped nuts. It will still taste great and the addition of nuts adds protein for a more satisfying treat.
Popcorn "Witches Hands" - Why it works: Popcorn is a popular favorite that provides whole grains, fiber (fills us up) and antioxidants. Reaching the goodies in the finger tips is like getting to the prize in the Cracker Jack box! The candy corn is cute and colorful. But dark chocolate covered raisins, almonds or espresso beans (for the adults!) are great alternatives. Of course not all popcorn is created equal nutritionally speaking. So pop your own at home with nutrient rich coconut oil for a superfood benefit.
Happy, Healthy Halloween!