Halloween may mean dressing up to some but it also may mean bloating, sugar crashes, and hyper children to others.
Sugar consumption has steadily increased with the consumption of processed foods and has particularly affected children.
The fact is, the majority of packaged and convenience foods are loaded with sugar and are commonly targeted to children through advertisements but also through accessibility in schools, social events, extracurricular activities, etc.
The average sugar consumption among children averages at 100 grams or 24 teaspoons per day (1), though the recommended daily amount is only about 25 grams (2).
In Canada, the top sources of sugar come from sweetened beverages such as soda but also juice, milk, tea, coffee, and energy drinks.
Why does this matter? Over consuming sugary foods and drinks is a major contributor to chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, both of which are rising among developed countries (3). And this is not just seen in adults, but children too.
The holidays are a time where it can seem more challenging to avoid sugary foods and stay on track with your health, especially with kids.
But today we are going to prove to you that you can enjoy your treats without putting your body through a food coma or sugar high.
No this is no trick! Read on to find out what are some of our favourite healthy treats for Halloween.
Gummies that don't send your kids bouncing off the walls?
SmartSweets gummies are plant-based and certified Gluten-Free and non-GMO.
Their high fiber content can help stabilize blood sugar levels (which we know will need extra support on Halloween) and feed good gut bacteria. High sugar diets have been shown to alter beneficial microbe populations and promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria (1) (2).
Sweetened with stevia, they are also free of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners and flavours, making them safe even for diabetics, now that's a candy we feel good about!
Sometimes you just want a cookie, we get it!
FreeYumm gives you the cookie without the guilt, catering to a variety of allergies as they are certified gluten, dairy, sulphite, soy, and nut-free. Made with natural ingredients, FreeYumm offers unique flavors for every palate including Chocolate Chip, Raspberry, Blueberry, Honey Apple, Banana Maple, Double Chocolate, and Ginger.
Plus they are mini-sized, perfect for that sweet tooth after dinner!
Freshen your breath with PUR mints and gums!
PUR's mission is to supply a chewing gum free of chemicals and artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, that are linked with negative health effects. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to alter the microbiome, promote insulin resistance, increase weight gain, and trigger glucose intolerance.
Avoid these ingredients with PUR's wide selection of natural flavors here.
Organic Traditions dark chocolate almonds
Did you know chocolate actually has health benefits? No joke, but not just any ol' chocolate. The darker the better! Always look for the highest percentage of cacao possible to receive the benefits of this bean which has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals and combat oxidative stress, reducing inflammation in the body.
Pair that with heart-healthy almonds, and you got a dynamic duo that stabilizes blood sugar and provides that chocolate hit we all need sometimes.
Chocolate coconut chips
Just because we wanted another reason to eat chocolate, can you blame us? These dark chocolate covered coconut chips, are not only delicious but provide healthy medium-chain triglycerides for quick sustainable energy and brainpower, perfect for a night of trick or treating!
Lesser Evil popcorn
Halloween would not be complete without a scary movie and a bag of popcorn, right?
Lesser Evil Popcorn gives you everything you want in a popcorn without the icky feeling afterward. They use non-GMO corn and organic ingredients such as coconut oil so you can feel good about what you are eating. Feeling adventurous? Try their various flavors from sweet and salty to jalapeno and honey for an extra kick!
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.