Friday, October 26, 2012

Myth: Candy is the best and cheapest treat for Halloween.

Answer: BUSTED!

It’s not just the one day of trick or treating that makes parents worry about Halloween treats. It’s that the candy haul sticks around for such a long time. The calories in candy add up fast. Fifteen pieces of candy corn is about 150 calories. A fun size candy bar can have about 2½ teaspoons of sugar. So if you are allowing your child to eat about 2 small pieces of candy a day, they are getting an extra 5 teaspoons of sugar. That’s like giving your child an extra half can of soda each day.

Choose fun (and cheap) non-candy treats* this Halloween. Dollar stores are a great source for these treats. Here are some ideas:
variety of small Halloween toys
  • Stickers
  • Bracelets
  • Small school supplies like erasers
  • Party favors
  • Crayons
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Hair bows
  • Balloons
  • Marbles and pens or pencils come in quantities that make for a cheaper treat
  • Glow or rubber bracelets can also be purchased in larger amounts so they are not too expensive
  • Shoelaces are useful but also colorful and fun – this could be a new idea for a Halloween
  • Spider rings are a perennial favorite
  • And maybe after you price out all of these items, you might decide that giving out coins is the cheapest and best Halloween treat of all!

*See this link for information about product safety and choking hazards for young children when buying or going through treats at Halloween:

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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