Halloween is almost here! And for most of us, that means bingeing on scary movies and all the halloween candy. But beware, there’s a lot of sugar and chemicals lurking in those nostalgic Halloween treats.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, artificial colorants (e.g. Red 40, Blue 1, and Yellow 5 and 6) found in foods like candy are known carcinogens that cause adverse reactions in children and adults, and can even lead to long term health risks like cancer.
And regarding sugar, the American Heart Association suggests women should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day, while men should have a maximum of 35 grams. Well with traditional Halloween candy containing a whopping 10-15 grams in a single fun-size piece, that’s half or more of your added sugar allowance gone in only one bite…yikes!
But fear not, there are still ways to enjoy Halloween festivities without being restrictive. It just takes a little creativity.
How to Enjoy Halloween without Bingeing on Candy
Due to Covid times, a lot of households and neighborhoods have been setting up “honor system” trick-or-treat stations around their homes as part of their Halloween decor.
Not only does this slightly minimize contact (note to trick-or-treaters: please use hand sanitizer), but it eliminates the temptation to snack. And speaking from experience, most, if not all, of your candy will be gone by the end of the night this way.
Buy “Healthier” Halloween treats
If you’re avoiding sugar, but still want to get treats for yourself, most health food stores carry some good options. Here’s a few:
- Lily’s sweets and chocolates. This brand specializes in stevia-sweetened chocolate candies including chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered caramels, and more.*
- Smart Sweets. This company makes no sugar or “artificial anything” versions of everyone’s favorite nostalgic gummy candies such as sour buddies, peach rings, gummy worms and bears, and more.*
- Lesser Evil Himalayan Salt Popcorn. You’ll get a lot of volume per serving without all the guilt. Great for snacking on during a movie. Just make sure to pre-portion in a bowl!
*Coach note: these should still be eaten in moderation following serving guidelines on the label. Although these candies contain less sugar and chemicals than traditional candy, they contain added fiber that can cause discomfort in large amounts to some individuals.
Our Favorite: Make Healthy Halloween Treats at Home
Get your friends and family involved for a super fun Halloween activity! Below are some of our favorite, easy-to-make, and healthy halloween treats everyone will love.
Healthy Sweet Halloween Treats
Apple Monster Bites
Pair seasonal apple slices with your favorite nut butter filling and slivered almonds for the teeth! The healthy fat, protein, and fiber from the apples, nuts, and nut butter packs a nutritious punch.
This fun recipe only calls for 2 ingredients: bananas and chocolate chips!
- Slice bananas in half.
- Press the tips of 3 chocolate chips in the banana to make the ghost face.
- Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate chips and “paint” the melted chocolate into faces on the banana.
Another two-ingredient recipe! All you need is a bag of clementines or mandarin oranges and a stalk of celery.
- Peel the oranges.
- Slice the celery stalk in thin vertical strips
- Next, slice the celery strips horizontally into small even “stems”
- Place small stems in the center of the oranges.
As much as we love our healthier sweet treats, we always try to pair fruits with protein and fiber to help keep blood sugar stable. Make sure to mix in some of the savory treats below for a Yes Health approved treat combo, or save the sweets as your dessert!
Healthy Savory Halloween Treats
Jack-o-Lantern Stuffed Peppers
These jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers make for a great Halloween dinner to kick off your feast! There are several variations of stuffing from spaghetti to taco bowls, but we really liked this protein and veggie-packed recipe from Super Sister Fitness.
Mummy Pizza Bread
Get the winning combo of protein and fiber with this mummy pizza bread recipe by Spark Recipes. Coach tip: use sprouted whole grain bread and part-skim cheese to get the most nutritional value while watching your calorie intake.
This “finger food” recipe by Heal n Cure is another easy one that uses less than 4 ingredients! Coach tip: use light string cheese and greek cream cheese for more protein and less fat.
Final Thoughts: Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Treats
We’d love to know which recipe is your favorite! If you want more healthy Halloween ideas, try Yes Health free for 14 days, and see what your health coach recommends for you.
Yes Health is a low-cost, weight loss and diabetes-prevention program committed to helping everyone live healthier, happier lives.