Healthy Tricks VS. Sugary Treats

Trick or Treat! When we think of Halloween, yummy and sugary treats such as candy bars and caramel apples usually come to mind. Rightfully so, this is definitely a day to indulge! However, the amount of sugar in these delicious snacks can be astronomical!

Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or handing out treats at the door, there are a variety of healthy options that are fun and festive!

Just a few examples of the amount of sugar in some of our favorite treats:
Snicker’s Fun Size: 17 g, Blow Pop: 13 g, Skittles: 42 g, Dots: 21 g, Reese’s (2 cups): 21 g.

For comparison, this is how many sugar cubes are in 2 Reese’ cups:









Whether you are hosting a Halloween party or handing out treats at the door, there are a variety of healthy options that are fun and festive!


Cheese is a good source of protein and does not contain any sugar. Cheese sticks will be ok unrefrigerated for 2-3 hours, so kiddos may eat these later if needed.


If you have clementine’s (“Cuties”) and celery, you have a pumpkin! Peel each clementine and leave in its whole, round form. Cut celery into 1 inch pieces and place in the middle of the clementine as a stem. Clementine’s are a good source of vitamin C and can easily fit in a Ziploc baggy.

Photo from Frog Prince Paperie


If hosting a party, make a tray of witch’s fingers! Simply take baby carrots or carrot sticks and place ½ of an olive (black or green) on the tip as a nail. This can be served with dip or by itself. Carrots are high in vitamin A and a great, crunchy snack.


To help keep kiddos (and parents of trick-or-treaters) hydrated, buy mini or full-sized bottles of water. Create labels out of construction paper or use Halloween-themed paper to cover original water bottle label. Many drinks such as juice and punch are high in sugar. These spooky bottles will help quench their thirst!


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  1. 12 large eggs
  2. ⅓ cup plus 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  3. 1 small ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  4. 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1 Tbsp minced scallion or shallot
  6. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  7. ¼ tsp black olive slices
  8. 24 black olives
  9. red food coloring
  1. Place eggs in a large pot with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch. Bring to a full boil; boil 1 minute. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs. Crack eggs and let sit in cold water 10 minutes or until cool. Drain, then peel eggs.
  2. Cut eggs in half lengthwise, then carefully remove the yolks, leaving the whites intact. Place yolks in a bowl; mash with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, avocado, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, and salt until blended. Using 2 teaspoons or a small ice-cream scoop, scoop yolk mixture into small balls and position in hollows of whites to resemble eyeballs.
  3. Press an olive slice into center of each yolk eyeball. Stir together 3 tablespoons remaining mayonnaise and a few drops of red food coloring in a small bowl for the "blood."
  4. Transfer colored mayonnaise mixture into a small sealable bag and snip the corner to form a pastry bag. Decorate eyeballs with bloodshot veins. Cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
  5. Make Ahead: Egg yolk mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Fill egg whites, decorate and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
  1. From
Something to Chew
Alana Scopel




Halloween Candy Safety

There are many spooks and scares associated with Halloween; however for many parents, the scariest thing can be what your child brings home in their candy bag, especially if your child has a food allergy. The challenges of raising a child with food allergies has decreased a bit over the years with increased resources such as food allergy websites and blogs, as well as allergy-free food brands. While it’s not necessary to ban trick-or-treating to protect your child from receiving non-allergy friendly candy, it is important to have a game plan once the candy has been collected.

  • I recommend first having a list of safe and unsafe candies that can be consumed. With your child, carefully go through all the collected candy and separate into a safe pile and an unsafe pile.
  • Rather than throwing out the unsafe candy, try finding a local organization that accepts leftover Halloween candy donations.
  • Offer to let your child trade in their unsafe candy for non-food items like Halloween pencils, stickers, sunglasses or temporary tattoos.
  • Additionally, it may be a good idea to purchase some of your own Halloween candy to have on reserve in case the consumption pile is not very productive.
  • Other ideas may include creating a “Halloween fairy” where you can have your child leave their unsafe candy for the fairy once they go to sleep and wake up to a basket of safe candy and other non-food goodies.




Watch Good Day Illinois’ Get Well Wednesday: Halloween Candy segment for even more Halloween candy safety tips.



Like any holiday that promotes seasonal candy, Halloween can be tricky if you or your child has a peanut allergy; however other common food allergens such as wheat, dairy and eggs can also pop up in candy. Here is a brief list of possible allergy-free alternatives.

Generally* Peanut/Nut Free Candy

  • Airheads
  • Dumdums
  • Starburst
  • Skittles
  • Smarties
  • KitKat
  • Sun Cups

For an extensive list, please visit the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board for their helpful list.

Generally* Gluten Free Candy

  • Airheads
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Candy Corn mixes
  • Baby Ruth
  • Hershey Milk Chocolate bars
  • Rolo
  • PayDay
  • M&Ms
  • Raisinettes
  • Butterfinger
  • Tootsie Roll

For a more extensive list, please visit Sure Foods Living.

*I use the term “generally” because manufacturers can change their recipes at any time without needing to notify the public. If you ever have any doubts about ingredients, be sure to call the manufacturer’s number listed on the food product.

Halloween Candy Cheat Sheet













For additional tips for staying safe during the fall holiday season, please visit: the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Boo! Mom Picks Worst Halloween Costume!

An alarm clock, it’s what most people see as their worst enemy on Monday morning. But, my mom saw it as the most adorable Halloween costume she could make her children dress up as. Why couldn’t I have been a princess or a unicorn like my best friend? Instead, I went trick or treating that year in what felt like a sumo wrestler suit with a woman’s brassiere attached to my head.


Halloween is a holiday celebrated by many with costumes, spooks and treats. As a child, I remember Halloween candy lasting up until Thanksgiving and then the candy kept coming through Christmas…and Valentine’s Day…and Easter. When you look at it that way, candy is celebrated with many of our holidays. While I do feel items like candy, cookies and pizza can be a part of everyone’s diet, moderation definitely needs to be enforced.

Essential calories are those that come from foods of high nutritional status such as low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, whole grains, healthy fats and oils. Discretionary or “empty” calories are calories that come from foods that are of low-nutrient value. Halloween candy is a perfect example of discretionary calories. According to these are the recommended amount of calories that can be used for discretionary calories.

Most children should only be allowed 120-265 of empty calories. One fun-sized Snickers bar is 80 calories and a fun-sized Twix bar, my childhood favorite, ranks in at 125 calories. A good way to put moderation into practice is to allow your children to choose 2-3 mini candy bars that they may consume each day, if desired. Remember the saying “out of sight-out of mind”? Do this with the candy bowl. Keeping it out of sight verses on the kitchen counter will decrease the temptation of grabbing a small treat every time you walk by the kitchen.

fake apple bites

Celebrating the Halloween season doesn’t always have to revolve around sugar and candy corn. You can make boo-ful bananas by cutting a peeled banana in half and create a ghost face by adding 3 small chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth. Draw jack-o-lantern faces on clementines and serve them as mini fruity-pumpkins. Cut and peel an apple to create delicious and fun, fake teeth for kids to snack on. You can always offer Halloween-themed pencils, erasers, stickers or bouncy balls as non-food alternatives to trick-or-treaters.

Wherever your ghostly adventures take you this year, may you have a happy, safe and healthy Halloween.

banana ghost2