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Trade Halloween Candy for Healthy Treats

Kids love candy. Kids love candy more than most adults can understand. One reason for this is that kids have the same number of taste buds on their tongue as adults, but their tongue is much smaller, which makes flavors more intense to them. This also makes the experience of eating something sweet and pleasurable like candy more enjoyable than it is for adults.

However, given the alarming rates of diabetes and obesity in kids, managing their sugar intake is a relatively simple step parents can take toward keeping kids healthy. This can be a difficult task around Halloween when parties, snacks and trick-or-treat are in full swing. Fun-sized sweet treats are everywhere, and it can be difficult to find a healthy balance in the midst of all the Halloween fun.

One solution to cut down on the candy during the Halloween sugar-fest is to trade Halloween candy for fun items.  A “candy exchange” system gives kids something to look forward to besides their candy, and will help parents manage the increase in sugar in their kids’ diets around Halloween. Trading kids something else for their Halloween candy can be turned into a fun game and a positive experience for all.

Halloween “Candy Exchange”: Healthy Alternatives to Trade for Candy for With Your Kids

Any of these alternatives can be Halloween themed or in your kids’ favorite colors, superheroes or interests. Keep it small and keep it fun.

School Supplies

Stickers, decorative pencils, erasers, and crayons are small tokens that your kids can also trade with their friends instead of candy, and continue to use after Halloween at school.

Small Toys

Plastic spiders, glow in the dark slime, cars, games, and bubbles will give kids lasting fun long after the Halloween candy is gone.

Arts and Crafts

Supplies such as beads, glitter, mini coloring books, and finger paint will entice creative kids to give up the candy for an exciting new project.

Silly Accessories

Glow sticks, necklaces, and funny glasses will allow kids to be as silly as they would have been after eating all that sugar.

Healthier Snack Alternatives to Candy

Trail mix, raisins, granola bars, crackers, and popcorn can be just as delicious to snack on as candy, and will fill them up with a bit of nutrition and fiber in the process. If you get them in single-serving packages, they can also be just as easy to trade with friends.

Buy it Back

Credit kids’ allowance for the candy they trade in, or donate to others in need. Alternatively, let kids skip a chore for a day if they give up the candy.

It’s hard to avoid candy completely during the Halloween season. These fun initiatives that motivate your kids to give up the sugar for healthier choices can help minimize their candy consumption and substitute it with a positive experience.

If you have questions about the right diet for your child, contact one of our excellent Family Medicine doctors at Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups today!

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