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Halloween Treats that make Momsense

October 19, 2011 - Betsy Bethel
Halloween is coming. Do you have your children's costumes ready? Are your pumpkins prepared for carving? Have you stocked up on candy? I have a great tip to share with you on the latter subject from local mom of three, Jami Robinson, who also coordinates the Ohio Valley Kids With Food Allergies support group. Because food allergies are so common, she suggests offering an alternative for little ghosts and goblins who could have a truly scary Halloween if they ingested a treat that gave them a reaction. At the very least, your alternative treat will make their Halloween happier because they will feel included. Put a sign up on your door that says: "Food allergies? Ask for an alternative treat." or "Allergy-free treats available." Then have a bowl ready with temporary tattoos, Play-Doh, rubber toys (little mice or bats, for example), Halloween themed pencils, bubbles or glow-in-the-dark bracelets. Chances are, even non-allergic kids might opt for non-candy treats. Public health expert Charles Stuart Platkin reports that a small Yale University study found that, when offered a choice, children ages 3-14 were just as likely to choose a toy over candy when trick or treating.

Other options for treats include these better-for-you products that have come across my desk:

Popumz are a fun and crunchy all-natural snack offered by Dr. Sears Family Essentials. They have fiber, protein and 100 mg of Omega-3 DHA fatty acids. The light little wafers come in sweet and savory flavors. The sweet ones are drizzled with either chocolate, vanilla or caramel. Savory choices are ranch, barbecue and cheddar. These treats taste better than their rice cake counterparts and have more nutrients, too.

Sparx candy made with xylitol comes in three varieties: fruit, citrus and berry. The colorful candy dots are made with xylitol as an alternative to sucrose or corn syrup, and they boast natural flavors and colors rather than artificial. The manufacturer, Xlear Inc., mentions xylitol is a naturally occuring sugar alcohol that has the same sweetness as sugar but with 40 percent fewer calories and none of the negative tooth decay or insulin release effects as sugar. Sparx candies remind me of the little tiny tart candies we used to eat as kids. My daughter likes them, but I have to ration them out because there are a good many in a container. Obviously, they are a choking hazard for babies and toddlers, so keep them out of reach.

CLIF Kid's Full Moon Brownie Zbar is an organic treat that has 8-11 grams of whole grains and 12 vitamins and minerals. It is a chocolate brownie with white chocolate chips and has no high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It comes in a cute Halloween themed wrapper with trick or treaters on it. And it doesn't taste too bad either!

Finally, for little ones who have diabetes, a St. Clairsville doctor offers a treat exchange party every year. Dr. Bruce Blank holds a party around Halloween for children to bring their Halloween candy and exchange it for a pizza party with games and other healthy treats. Blank donates whatever candy he collects to the Greater Wheeling Soup Kitchen. When I find out this year's date and time, I will post it on the calendar and the OV Parent Magazine Facebook page, .


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