Halloween is right around the corner, and the amount of candy and treats consumed in the days surrounding it make even the most understanding dentist shudder!
It’s estimated that more than $2.7 billion a year is spent on Halloween candy. Almost 90 million pounds of chocolate are sold during the week of Halloween alone. If those numbers weren’t shocking enough, some reports have found that the average trick-or-treating child can consume around three cups of sugar (or about 7,000 calories of candy) on Halloween. That is some serious potential for tooth decay!
While one day of overeating sugar doesn’t destine you for a mouth full of cavities, it can begin to lay the groundwork for cavities and other oral health diseases in the future. Since many people are looking for alternatives to all the sugary sweets (that are both allergy and tooth-friendly), we have compiled a list of tasty alternatives. Start a trend in your neighborhood by doing something different than candy this year!
If you aren’t quite ready to give up handing out treats, then try to find something more redeeming than a candy bar. While most kids would turn up their nose to carrot sticks or an apple (which could result in no trick-or-treaters next year), most will happily accept other healthier snacks.
For example, head to a big-box store where they specialize in large quantities of single–serving snacks. Goldfish, Pirate’s Booty, and popcorn are all alternatives that are both parent and kid approved. Yogurt covered raisins can also be a treat that’s easy to pass out and is sweet enough to trick most kids into enjoying. If you choose to go this route, remember to buy individually–packaged treats so they pass the parent-safety test!
Finally, consider handing out small bottles of water or no-sugar added fruit juices so the kids (and parents!) can partake while walking the neighborhood. If you really want to knock it out of the park, cartons of reduced fat milk have been known to be very popular.
If you are hosting a party, you might be tempted to have a spread of sweet treats. In this video, the host lays out delicious and festive options to build out the food you’re offering in a tasty but healthier way.
For example, you can make scary spider sandwiches on whole grain bread. Another alternative is to peel clementines and place a small piece of celery in the top. Viola, a tiny pumpkin! Finally, take a peeled banana and cover the top in peanut butter. Use raisins or chocolate chips for eyes. Place on a stick, and you have delicious, tiny ghosts!
Finally, don’t be afraid to be the house that doesn’t hand out candy. Play-doh for the younger set is a huge hit, and is a good toy for the cold winter months just around the corner. Glow sticks are another alternative that are fun for all ages and can be used while out that night. Glow sticks can be bought inexpensively in large quantities, too, so stock up, because they could be a popular item! Parents will be thrilled to have something other than candy.