The Huffington Post recently published an article originally called “8 Healthy Halloween Treats That Won’t Get Your House Egged.” They have since changed the title to “8 Healthy Treats You Should Hand Out Instead of Halloween Candy.” I’m guessing the change was made in part due to numerous people pointing out that the article’s suggestions would most definitely get someone’s house egged.
Now, I am not advocating egging people’s houses, and to say someone deserves to have their house egged because of what they hand out to trick-or-treaters is victim blaming, which is never cool. Still, the 8 healthy treats suggested for in the article are certainly worthy of a seriously judgy side-eye. Let’s break down Huffington Post Taste Senior Editor Julie Thomson’s list:
1. Yogurt-Covered Raisins
The first part of the article bemoans all the unhealthy sugar that children will consume if you give them candy for Halloween. Well, lady, have you looked at the nutritional info for yogurt-covered raisins lately? Depending on the brand, yogurt-covered raisins range from 17 to 33 grams of sugar per serving. Sure, the Sun-Maid mini boxes say they have only 8 grams per serving, but that’s because they list a serving as 10 raisins. So giving trick-or-treaters yogurt-covered raisins instead of candy is either hypocritical or stingy.
2. Mini Granola Bars
Granola bars definitely have sugar, although certainly less than yogurt-covered raisins or candy. Plus, the article specifies “mini” granola bars. Half the bar equals half the sugar, so that’s twice as healthy, right?
3. Mini Pretzels
I guess mini is the new healthy? Anyway, as much as I respect mixing in some salty with the sweet, if you are really buying something for the kids go for Goldfish crackers or something. Pretzels? Those will make a good snack for parents to have with the beer they’ll be drinking to calm their nerves after helping their sugar-hyped kids through their post Halloween-binge meltdowns. Thanks!
4. Unpopped Popcorn
The list says “unpopped popcorn,” but the picture shows Smartfood, which is at least a better choice. A kid who likes popcorn can rip that open and eat it right away. Plus, unless she was picturing someone handing out baggies of raw popcorn kernels, when the author wrote “unpopped” I’m guessing she meant bags of microwave popcorn, which depending on the type are so full of chemicals that they should not be considered a “healthy” snack.
5. Fruit Leathers
The nice things about these is they last forever, so long after the Halloween candy is gone I could toss them in a lunch box to be an afternoon snack. My dentist won’t be happy because of the stickiness, but I guess you can’t please everyone.
6 Fruit Chews
Finally. This is actually something my kids would eat with the same enthusiasm as candy, and at 10 to 11 grams of sugar per serving they technically are a bit better than most candies. Fine. You won this round, HuffPo.
You know what needs a lot of sugar to become at all edible? Cranberries. Craisins have 29 grams of sugar per serving. Congratulations. Your neighborhood kids will still get diabetes, they just won’t enjoy it as much as the kids who got it from candy bars.
Apples? Seriously? Apples?! According to HuffPo, “They’re just as sweet as candy, so they’re a great thing to hand out.” What? No. I like apples just fine, but they are not “just as sweet as candy” unless we are talking about the type you get at the mall that have doubled in sized from being rolled in so much caramel, chocolate, and gummy bears. Besides, any child of the 70s knows that Halloween apples are always full of razor blades.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think it’s a bad thing not wanting to contribute to kids’ Halloween sugar rushes, but if you don’t want to give out candy there are far better things to give out than any of the healthy snacks listed above. Hand out small toys, glow sticks, temporary tattoos, or stickers. The mini comics available as part of Halloween Comic Fest are unexpected options and come in packs of 25 for $4.99.
Trick-or-treating on Halloween is supposed to be fun. Fun doesn’t have to mean candy, but it should mean a treat. Something special. Not an everyday healthy snack. So, on Halloween, keep your baby carrots, bunches of kale, and pumpkin spice quinoa salad to yourself. Or just leave your porch light off and go to bed early. That will be a better treat for the kids on your block and is a lot less likely to get your house egged.
Of course the whole purpose of that absurd HuffPo article may have been to bait suckers like me to write about and get them more clicks. Oh, well. In that case, the Halloween trick is on me. It’s still better than getting an apple.
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