Co-written by: Christina Chu, CPT, a Boston University Dietetics Student.
With Halloween just around the corner, candy consumption will skyrocket in homes across the United States. Did you know that the average American eats 3.4 pounds of candy over the course of Halloween and the average trick-or-treater consumes about 3 cups of sugar that night? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend less than 10% of your calories come from added sugar, but that can be difficult to calculate. In simpler terms, this is about 50 grams or 4 tablespoons of sugar in a 2,000 calorie diet.
With the influx in healthy marketing, it is difficult to distinguish between natural and added sugars. Thankfully with the new nutrition label, which will be completely enforced in July 2018, you are able to see how much added sugar, as opposed to just total sugar, is in a product to further make your smarter and healthier choices.
Regardless, these are some treats that you can make for your little (or big!) ghosts and fairies that are easy on the added sugars.
- Clementine Jack O’Lanterns: Draw Jack O’Lantern faces on the outside of the clementine and serve.
- Banana Ghosts: Stick half of a banana on a skewer, dip in Greek yogurt, and use two mini-chocolate chips as eyes. Freeze before munching.
- Fruity Frankenstein: In a clear plastic cup, fill with green grapes. Draw Frankenstein on the cup and don’t forget his stitches!
- Candy Corn Parfait: In a clear jar, fill the bottom with oranges, then top with pineapple, and finish it off with a layer of Greek yogurt for the most nutritional candy corn you’ll ever eat.
- PB & J Crawlers: Cut whole-wheat bread into circles and spread a slice with peanut butter & jelly, top it with another slice of circular whole-wheat bread and two mini chocolate chips for eyes. Insert 4 thin carrot sticks into each side for your creepy crawly legs.
Made these healthy treats? Tag me on Instagram @SkylarGriggsRD so I can check out your culinary skills!
If you find yourself with extra trick-or-treat sweets at the end of the night, check out these organizations that will accept all your leftover candy:
- Soldiers’ Angels, which accepts all kinds of leftover Halloween candies that will be sent to our troops and veterans. Click here to donate!
- Operation Shoebox is an organization that sends care packages and letters to veterans and troops overseas. They accept candy donations to put in the care packages.
- Be on the lookout for the new nutrition label and the “added sugars” feature to make healthy food decisions.
- As important as it is to enjoy your holiday, make some delicious and nutritious swaps that everyone will love!
- If you find yourself with extra candy, donate it to a charity organization.