Halloween is approaching fast and we will see children dressed up knocking at our door asking for “tricks or treats”. What candy could you hand out which are not hazardous to kids health? We wouldn’t need to ask if we were just talking about a couple of sweets here and there. But Halloween means loads of candies and chocolate. That’s bad, because occasional access to large amounts of sugar has been shown to trigger addiction-like bingeing in lab animals, says Hans-Rudolf Berthoud, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. And that may also be true of little humans in animal costumes. Then, on top of the sugar load, the saturated fat in candy can cause changes in the brain that can condition a child to come back for more. But don’t worry, there’s no need to turn off the porch light.
I have done some homework for you and come up with some treats that you can hand out without wondering if you are doing more harm than goods. Please note that my blog is NOT sponsored and I am NOT paid for any products mentioned here.
Let’s start with some basics, raisins are always a good treat. Organix Goodies raisins are just raisins and available in small boxes. They make a perfect treat as you will of course find sugars, but only in a natural form. Daylesford Mango Crisps are also just fruits and nothing else, they are high in sugar (79 grams for 100 grams of product) but all coming from the fruits which are organic. For some fun, the Cocoa Loco Chocolate Eye balls do not contain any palm fat (good!) or corn syrup and have 38 grams of fat and 49 grams sugar for 100 grams product. Their milk chocolate buttons are not bad either, with again no palm fat or corn syrup and have the same nutritional values.
An alternative I like is popcorn, and my son’s favourite is the Nom salted mapple, salted with Himalayan salt, prepared in coconut oil and maple syrup. The nutritional value is rather good with 8 grams of sugar (from maple syrup) and 26 grams of fat (21 grams of saturated fat) for 100 grams of product. Joe and Seph popcorn are also delicious and while I adore their coconut and chia seeds, the peanut butter and chocolate one sounds good for this time of the year. The first one has 32 grams of sugar and 28 grams of fat (17 grams of saturated fat) and the second has 34 grams sugar and 30 grams fat (14 grams of saturated fat) both for 100 grams of product.
The two last treats I propose get really at the bottom of my list, both because they do contain palm oil, even certified from sustainable sources, I really prefer to avoid this ingredients as much as I can. Justin’s milk chocolate peanut butter cups are far much better than the widely spread Reese’s peanut butter cups. The latter contain E476, also known as “polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids of castor oil” as it is produced from castor oil and glycerol esters (Polyglycerol polyricinoleates (PGPR) are used, alone or in combination with soy lecithin, to improve the flow properties of molten chocolate and to reduce the amount of cocoa butter required – to reduce costs and maximise profits), sugar and dextrose produced from genetically modified sugar beets. Their nutritional values are amazing with 31 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar which is more than double compared to the Justin’s one which gently provide 15 grams of fat (8 of saturated fat) and 16 grams of sugar.
Daylesford Organic double chocolate spelt biscuits are attractive to my opinion as they are baked with Spelt flour and Oat instead of the traditional wheat (which adds to the sugar load) but as mentioned above, with palm oil (which kinda spoil the whole thing…) Their nutritional value is not too bad with 26 grams of fat (14 grams of saturated fat) and 32 grams of sugar for 100 grams of product.
Happy Halloween everyone and choose treats over threats (for the kiddos health!)
Pictures: a positively beautiful blog, patchworkharmony blog
Sources: UK Food guide