ISU Extension: Healthy Halloween Treats

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By Nicole Agee

Halloween is just around the corner! This means many children will be out collecting Halloween treats, which oftentimes have a scary prognosis in terms of their nutritional content. According to the National Confectioner’s Association, Americans spent approximately $2.3 billion on Halloween candy in 2011, which came out to $7.36 per person.
Most children consume between 3500 and 7000 calories from candy on Halloween. This is quite a bit, considering a 100-pound child would have to walk for 44 hours to burn off those additional 7000 calories.

Tips to ensure your children have a healthy and fun Halloween:
• Don’t send your children trick-or-treating on an empty stomach. Make sure they eat a healthy, well-balanced meal beforehand to reduce the urge to snack.
• Trick-or-treat bags that children carry should be appropriate for their size.
• Instruct children to wait until they get home to eat any snacks so you can inspect them first.

Healthy Halloween snacks or non-food alternatives:
• Healthy snacks: Cereal bars, trail mix (be careful of peanut allergies), raisins, single serving popcorn bags (100 calories), sugar-free gum, beef jerky. If you do pass out candy, opt for the bite-size candy bars.
• Non-food alternatives: Glo sticks, pencils, bookmarks, temporary tattoos, bubbles, coloring books.

Website: www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings
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