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As a mom, I am always looking out for my children’s health. So at Halloween, I get really upset when nearly every store I enter has 50 feet of shelves full of nothing but candy. The candy companies have made every holiday an excuse to eat tons of sugar, while making billions of dollars.
Kids deserve a lifetime of good health, so parents must teach them that there are many fun ways to celebrate without harming our bodies. Little ones don’t understand that an excess of sugar is addictive and can be so detrimental to health.
Candy doesn’t have to be 100% off limits, but we can choose better candy and offer it very sparingly. We can create holiday activities that celebrate the occasion without over-indulging in junk food and sweets.
I struggle with this, but I’m confident that I know better than my kids. I work extra hard to keep unhealthy candies and sweets away from them, and you can do it, too.
I love to make homemade treats, so I’m sharing a few recipes with you – but, if you don’t have time or just don’t feel like cooking, here’s a list of some brands of better-for-you candies to enjoy at Halloween:
Mini OCHO Organic Candy Bars
Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Bites
Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears
Organic 100% Maple Candy
Black Forest Organic
Kopali Organic Fair Trade Chocolates
Funky Monkey Snacks (freeze dried fruit)
Torie & Howard Organic
St. Claire’s Organics
Honey Stix or Straws from your favorite honey company,
like Savannah Bee Company
Toonie Moonie Organic Marshmallow Cream (for homemade healthy krispy treats or popcorn balls)
And, if you want to make my kid-tested goodies, here are three recipes to enjoy – these are fun, delicious, and healthy treats to nourish your little monsters this Halloween. Enjoy! And be sure to take plenty of pictures!
30 fresh strawberries
8 ounces Premium fair trade white Chocolate chip or morsels chopped
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chip or morsels chopped
1. Wash strawberries and gently pat with napkin or paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and coconut oil at 50% power; stir until smooth or use a double boiler. Stir in extract.
2. Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts’ tails. Freeze 5 minutes.
3. In microwave or double boiler, melt semi sweet dark chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and drop two dots for eyes and draw a mouth on each ghost. Refrigerate leftovers.
Note: I am a cocoa farmer’s daughter; buying fair trade chocolate ensures small farmers around the world, like my mother, get a fair price for the cacao bean.
Vanilla yogurt (I use Organic Valley)
1 orange (squeeze out the juice and save 2 tablespoons)
2 Yummy Spoonfuls Only Carrot & Apple defrosted
1 ripe mango- peel/deseed/ blend
Raw honey/coconut sugar (optional – if you want it extra sweet)
1. Fill about 1/3 of the mold with the yogurt.
2. Let set in the freezer for 30 minutes
3. Pull out of the freezer and pour in the carrot orange mixture until the mold is 2/3 full and insert your stick
4. Let set in the freezer for 40 minutes
5. Pull out of the freezer and fill the rest of the mold with mango.
6. Freeze the popsicles overnight and enjoy!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Freezing time: 8 hours
Number of servings: 6 small
To make this an extremely easy experience, you’ll want to buy wooden popsicle sticks – trust me on this! If you’re using the popsicle stick that is attached, you have to work on timing – doable, but tricky! Make sure the first two layers are just barely frozen – not too much that your attachment can’t go through it. When you add the mango, which is your final layer, insert the stick very gently.
2 tortillas per mummy
Fillings – shredded cheese, shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, pasta sauce, shredded spinach
2 Olive eyes
1. If you want your quesadillas to be a bit smaller, like mine, here is my kitchen hack for when you don’t have a cookie cutter. Take a small round bowl, place it upside-down on your tortilla, and, with a sharp knife, cut out the tortilla by tracing around the bowl. This step is optional, but don’t you agree it looks so cute!
2. For each mummy, you’ll need one whole tortilla and the other one cut into strips
3. In a bowl, mix spinach, 3 tablespoons pasta sauce (if you are using commercial, read the label to ensure there are only real ingredients, no fillers or added sugar), and your chicken
4. Spread tortilla with filling
5. Add cheese
6. Criss-cross the cut tortilla strips to create your mummy.
7. Add olive eyes
8. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the tortillas are lightly golden brown and the cheese is melted and fillings are heated through, 6-10 minutes.
9. Serve hot