12-Year-Old Nutrition Expert Shares Kid-Friendly (Doctor-Approved) Halloween Treats
Hey guys, Kai here from Generation Kai. I can’t believe Halloween is here already. Although Halloween is not my favorite holiday (Christmas is, of course) I do love putting on a costume every year and heading out with my family and friends around the neighborhood in search of fun treats. I am really into skateboarding right now so I decided to go as Bart Simpson so I can ride my skateboard around instead of walking this year. My Moms are really big on keeping us healthy throughout the sugar-loaded holiday season.
Below are some kid-friendly (doctor-approved) Halloween treats you should look out for this year.
1. Snack Bags
Instead of the typical candy options, nice alternatives to hand out to the kids coming to your door this year include things like bags of pretzels, popcorn, healthy chips, animal crackers, or alphabet cookies.
I like it when houses mix it up a bit and give out something other than food. Things like bouncy balls, glider planes, glow bracelets, mini notebooks, Halloween pencils or pens, parachute guys, fake mustaches, stickers, bubbles, mini playdough or punch balloons. It’s so much fun as you’re sorting through your mounds of candy to find a non-candy treat hidden in the pile.
3. Candy (Eat This Not That)
As far as candies go, there are some sweet treats that are healthier than others. Here is a short list of the candies you should or shouldn’t consider based on calorie count, fat count and ingredients (giving special attention to candies with the dreaded artificial ingredients).
Dum Dums, Smarties, Nerds Fun Size, Mini Jelly Belly’s, York Peppermint Pattie’s, Tootsie Rolls, Kit Kat, Crunch Bars and Hershey’s Kisses.
Reese’s Minis (Reese’s anything actually), Butterfingers, M&M’s (regular or peanut – tons of artificial colors), 100 Grand, Mike and Ike’s, Starburst, Twizzlers, Baby Ruth, Snickers and Skittles.
Sugar Vs. Sugar-Free
Labels can get really confusing. Sugar-Free or Low Fat might seem like a nice idea but it’s really important to look at the fine print on the label. Most of the time, Sugar-Free or Low Fat means they are using artificial sugar instead of real sugar in the product. Although sugar in general is bad for us, artificial sugar is even worse. My Moms would suggest anytime we indulge in a sweet treat to at least indulge with real sugar and not artificial sugar.
4. Fun with Fruit
During Halloween, my family gets really creative with fruit as a healthy alternative to eating candy. Here are the tricks to freezing it, dipping it and smashing it.
My sisters and I love freezing fruit and eating it a day or two later once it’s hard as a rock. Fruits we love to freeze include bananas, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries), grapes and peaches. Once frozen these delicious fruits are little frozen popsicles in your mouth – they are amazing!
The other thing we love to do is dip fruit is melted chocolate. We have a super simple recipe we use with semi-sweet chocolate chips, evaporated milk and coconut oil once warmed and mixed together it makes an amazing chocolate dip. We love dipping bananas, apples, berries, peaches, and mangoes in the chocolate. If we get full we can dip the fruit to use up all the chocolate and then store it in the fridge for the next day.
Another favorite of mine is mashed-up dates and walnuts. One of my favorite sweet treats any time of year (but it’s great at curbing a sweet tooth for Halloween candy) is this mixture of awesomeness and it’s so easy to make:
- Get a couple handfuls of pitted dates and a couple handfuls of walnuts (or any nut for that matter knowing all the nut allergies out there today).
- Put them in a blender and blend as much as you can and then take the mixture and smash it into an eight by eight Pyrex dish.
- Put it in the fridge for a couple hours to cool and then cut out pieces like fudge.
This truly is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth or enjoy a little snack before bedtime (before brushing your teeth of course).
Well, I think that’s enough fun Halloween treats for one article. Until next time, have yourself a safe and happy Halloween. And remember, it’s Halloween, it’s okay to have a little fun and indulge, especially if you eat healthy for the rest of the year!
Kai Nunziato-Cruz is a 12-year-old nutrition expert from Arizona. As the son of Liz Cruz M.D., a board-certified Gastroenterologist, and Tina Nunziato, a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Kai has watched his Moms for years help adults get well and stay well with their books, podcast, online home study program and more and felt it was his mission to take those same teachings to kids. Kai is the author of Digest This Now! for Kids a kid-friendly, doctor-approved book about healthy eating and he also teaches through his YouTube show Generation Kai
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