Today’s parents are more concerned than ever about the food they give their children. They want to make good choices to avoid a lifetime of obesity, as well as other health problems like rotten teeth. Even on a special day like Halloween it can be a great day to find healthy candy choices so that children will learn by example to make good choices later in life. But, kids take their cues from the parents and other adults around them. If you want to give your children healthier candies without them finding out just make the decision and provide the choices without making a big deal out of it. The kids will be delighted regardless.

Believe it or not you can find delicious options to hand out to kids that don’t have chemicals, dies, artificial colors, or even corn syrup. Look for the brand, YumEarth at Whole Foods and even Toys ‘R’ Us during the holidays. You can even order on their website if you can’t find them locally. Stores like Trader Joe’s have their own store brands of healthier and organic candies. Check in your area at your local stores to find out if they will carry any of these healthier candies for Halloween.

If you don’t want to buy organic or corn syrup free candies you can still make some good choices with what’s available at your local department store. Buy the smaller sized or so called “fun size” candies that give the kids a taste of the treat but don’t provide as much sugar and fat as the regular sized choices. Choose natural flavors like chocolate and coconut over artificial flavorings to make healthy candy choices. Choose ingredients with marshmallow in them because they’re already lower in fat than other choices and often take on the other flavors to make it feel like you’re getting more. Consider candy with nuts and fruit added for a healthy candy choice that kids will love. (Do be aware of peanut allergies.)

If you are planning to have a Halloween party at home, or want to make the entire day special and the wrapping doesn’t matter, consider creating some homemade treats that will be sure to please even the hardest to satisfy child. Use fruit and veggies to design a tray that looks like a scary cat, or a bunch of green broccoli with two dip containers with olives in them for eyes, and olives for a mouth and carrots for eyebrows — serve on a brand new trash lid and viola, you have an Oscar the Grouch plate. How about carrots cut as fingers inside some yummy yogurt dip? Use your imagination and you can’t lose.

You can also make your own healthy candy using your own recipes that don’t contain a lot of fake ingredients. Try caramel apples or cinnamon apples. There is only a bit of candy on the healthy fruit. To make smaller versions, use a melon ball maker and tooth picks, then dip in the candy coating. If you’ve never made homemade candy out of dates, you’re missing out. Dates are full of natural sugar that tastes like brown sugar and butter. Yet, it’s only fruit. Try this candy bar to create a truly healthy candy for Halloween.

Chocolate Covered Dates

Ingredients

•    8 to 10 Pitted Dates (you can get excellent dates from 7hotdates.com)
•    1 Cup Raw Cashews
•    1/2 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips, melted
•    Shredded Coconut

Directions

Blend the dates and cashews in a food processor until it forms a ball. If you need to add drops of water do so, but if you choose juicy fat dates you won’t have to. Form into balls, then roll in melted chocolate, then shredded coconut. Stick with a tooth pick. Put into the fridge for faster hardening of the chocolate.

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