Healthy snacks for Halloween trick-or-treaters: Yay or nay?

Is it a good idea to give Halloween trick-or-treaters healthy snacks, like pretzels or raisins?

The debate, as you can imagine, rages. There are two camps: One side says Halloween is one night of the year for kids to go out, have fun and collect yummy candy. Why would you want to ruin that? The other side is equally adamant: All that candy isn’t good for kids, and we don’t want the leftovers in our house, either!

So what’s the answer?

I can tell you that back when my son was trick-or-treating, “lame snacks” were tossed aside — usually for Mom or Dad to eat later. Which is fine. It is true that kids — and their parents — don’t need 8 pounds of candy in their home. But I suspect most families do what we used to: Our son would eat a few pieces of the candy each day for a few days, then he would forget about it and we would take it into the office, where our coworkers were more than happy to make it disappear. (Same principle applies now that we don’t have a trick-or-treater: Leftover candy is immediately removed from the house.)

You might feel more virtuous by slipping mini-bottled waters or goldfish into the eager trick-or-treaters’ bags, but it won’t make you the most popular house on the block.

But there’s an alternative that both sides might embrace.

The Teal Pumpkin Project has been around for many years. Participants put a teal pumpkin on their driveway or in their window to let parents of kids who have allergies know that they have non-food treats. But it’s not just children with allergies who could benefit (although it’s awesome that this is becoming so popular for kids with allergies).

The idea can be extended to the more health-conscious among us: Instead of offering candy or healthy food alternatives, how about handing out glow sticks, mini bottles of bubbles, stickers, play dough or bouncy balls?

I guarantee you they would be more popular then pretzels.

Check out our Halloween page for all things spooky in Central Florida »

Lisa Cianci is the content director for news. She can be reached at lcianci@orlandosentinel.com; connect with her on Twitter: @lisacianci.

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