It's definitely fall here in Chicago and children are starting to get excited for Halloween; costumes, carving pumpkins, trick or treating and of course...candy! The average trick or treater consumes ~3 cups of sugar (equivalent to 220 packets of sugar!) Did you know traditional Halloween treats such as Butter Fingers, Snickers and Tootsie Rolls contain trans fat? AndM & M's and Sweet Tarts are dyed with artificial colors including Red #40 and Blue #1?Were you aware the first ingredient in Twizzlers, Starbursts and Dots is corn syrup? My Five on Friday suggests alternatives to these candies that are still delicious but don't contain refined flour, partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors.As you start to shop for your treats, keep my suggestions in mind and take an extra look at the ingredient list and nutrition facts of what you buy and pass out.
And remember, if you send your own children out trick or treating to feed them a well-balanced dinner prior to going outto prevent them from being really hungry and substituting candy for a meal.
Happy Halloween & have fun Trick or Treating!
Yum Earth Organics Gummy Bears: While I would normally recommend fruit and not fruit snacks, most children would cringe if you put an apple in their Trick or Treat bag. These are the next best option. Fruity and flavorful and made with real fruit extracts. They are made withorganic fruit juice; no artificial dyes, no high fructose corn syrup and free of common allergens. You can feel good that they provide100% of daily Vitamin C needs.
Amazon: 50 packages for $21.00
Target: 10 packages for $3.49
Stretch Island Fruit Leather Variety Pack:These are real fruit and fruit purees (not fruit juice) and are sweet and chewy.The Variety Pack contains delicious flavors: autumn apple, abundant apricot, orchard cherry, harvest grape, ripened raspberry, and summer strawberry. They are fruit leather but healthier than normal fruit roll up's that are filled withcorn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated oil, Red #40, Yellow #5 and #6 and Blue #1.
Amazon: 48 Fruit Leather Strips for $18.43
Angie's Boom Chicka Pop: This popcorn is free of gluten, trans fat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Made only from simple ingredients both you and the kids will love: just popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt.
Target: 16 bags for $5.99 www.harrisburgstore.com: 24 bags for $13.50
Annie's Halloween Bunny Grahams: While these aren'tcandy, they are a great snack with fun, kid friendly packaging! Annie's products are made with organic whole grain wheat flour and without partially hydrogenated oils. The orange and brown coloring are from annatto extract and real cocoa; no artificial flavorings or synthetic colors.
Amazon: 24 packages for $7.84
Justin's Peanut Butter Cup: Combine organic peanut butter with high quality organic chocolate and you have a great peanut butter cup the kids will love. They are sweetened with organic palm fruit oil which is trans fat free. Justin's brand is GMO free and organic. You will definitely hope there are leftovers to indulge on! :)
www.justins.com: 120 Peanut Butter Cups for $77.99