10.20.2011

Halloween 2011: Candy Alternatives Part Two

Finally have time to write this second part up. *phew* It's been the season for bad weather and bad health around here so I do apologize for this not being up sooner. In Part One I offered some nice candy alternatives that won't end up in the trash the next day (with the exception of the glowing goodies). Today I wanted to suggest some alternatives that are still noshable. A couple of hours walking around your neighborhood can work up an appetite so why not have some not-so-sugary goodies for the kids to break up the glut of chocolate and bubblegum?

1. Pretzels

My father-in-law is always telling me what to feed my kids. We don't always see eye-to-eye but he cares and that's what matters to me. When he hits the warehouse store in town we inevitably get a visit from grampa with fruit and snacks he has deemed essential to the survival of his grandbabies. Last year he surprised us with a pumpkin shaped 'barrel' of Halloween shaped pretzels.

Now let me tell you these are a huge hit with my kids and I dig into their snack drawer for some from time to time. They're great dipped into Nutella or peanut butter. I also bought an Olive and Herb Cheese Ball Mix at a Tastefully Simple party that I'm going to make into their Creepy Peepers idea that I think would be great with the pretzels.

You can pick these little bags of pretzels up in lots of places but I know I saw them at Walmart last year. I even saved the plastic barrel for storing dog brushes and toys.

2. Baby Carrots

No really! I saw them last year and did a double-take. Almost bought some but since we don't get many trick-or-treaters I skipped them. Maybe not the most exciting thing a kid could find in their treat bag but toss them in the fridge for a packed school lunch with a little ranch dressing and most kids will eat them. I know mine will.

Scarrots are also packed with a temporary tattoo! How is that not fun? I haven't seen them in our local stores yet this year but if I do and my budget permits I might buy enough to send these for my son's 6th grade class. Their teacher is anti-sugared-snacks in class and I heartily approve.

3. Juice Boxes

I've seen cute little cans of soda that change color when cold (a treat from the in-laws) and mini bags of chips. Both non-candy treats kids love but if you're looking for a healthier alternative you can't go wrong with juice boxes. There are many different types from flavored waters to chocolate milk but you can't go wrong with an organic apple juice. My father-in-law likes to pick up the Fruitables from Apple & Eve for my kids as they're a fruit and veggie mix. Sneaky grampa!

What's also great about juice boxes is that if you're thinking they're not very festive it's easy to decorate them with printable juice box sleeves—like these awesome ones from Centsational Girl—or make some of your own.

4. Popcorn

Honestly... microwave popcorn is the bane of my existence. I loooove popcorn but hate the smell and mess of the microwave variety. Convinient? Yes. Pleasent? No. Yet the facts are that popcorn is one of the less caloricly dense snacks for obvious reasons. It's crunchy and salty, a movie-time staple. Yep, this one is the kid-favorite in our house.

Around this time of year you can find mini-bags with Halloween themed packaging but really any mini bags are a great option. Half the child-friendly factor is that this lets them have their own bag and not sharing with a sibling or parent.
5. Apple Slices

The more expensive option here but I'm finding them popping up here and there. Even the fast food franchises are switching to apple slices in place of french fries. I've never been an apple lover. Something about growing up in the heart of apple country might have solidified my lack of craving for apples but whatever it is my desire for a juicy bite of autumn is rare. My passion for caramel, however, is ever aflame so the idea of apple slices with caramel sauce as a candy alternative seems a no brainer.

Crunchpak makes mini bags of sliced apples with and without caramel sauce for dipping. Is it bribing kids to eat fruit with a candy sauce? Maybe. But there are far worse options and this one will still pack some vitamins into their gobs before the rest of the junk-food fills the rest. My kids would eat these without me suggesting them to so I think they're a big win.


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