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Healthy Halloween treats

Cooler air and colored leaves are coming, and it won't be long until the little ghouls and goblins will walk side by side with the princess' and soldiers to you door looking for Halloween goodies. What will you have to fill their treat bags?

There are long aisles of candy at your store that you could easily purchase. That is a quick and easy solution, though not exactly the healthiest for those little bodies. There are alternatives.

There are lots of choices that are just as easy as buying a bag of candy. Consider other individually wrapped items such as string cheese, peanut butter crackers, pretzels, raisins, cereal bars, nuts, or juice boxes. Who says the treats have to be food? You could also give sticker sheets, pencils, erasers, small activity books, or even coins.

If you have a little more time, there are lots of healthy and fun treats you can make to hand out. Snack mixes are a wonderful choice. The choices are limitless for how to make this. Just toss what you like in a bowl, and stir it up. Then pack the mix into snack bags. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Cereal (toasted oat, chex, granola)
  • Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apples, coconut)
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese puff balls
  • Nuts
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Chocolate candies (use orange and black ones)
  • Candy corn
  • Fruit snacks (look for Halloween shapes)
  • Chocolate or carob chips
  • Mini marshmallows

Other things you can make easily include popcorn. Make plain popcorn, or zest it up with garlic, parmesan cheese, and a bit of paprika. You could also make it a sweet treat by creating popcorn balls or caramel corn. Apples could be given, or for more of a treat caramel or candied apples could be made. Even homemade cookies are healthier than candy bars, especially if you choose a cookie that is full of wholesome ingredients like oatmeal, peanut butter and fruit.

Peanut butter oatmeal cookies

  • 1/2cup butter softened
  • 1/2cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and peanut butter, Add sugars, egg and vanilla. Stir in baking soda and flour. Add the oatmeal and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

The trick or treaters will be at your door soon. Be prepared with healthy treats you've purchased or with the ones you've made. You'll feel better giving them something healthy. Their parents will feel better having less candy in the house, and the children will enjoy the goodies.