Healthy Halloween Treats

As Halloween approaches I begin my yearly dilemma of what to give the kids and still stay focused on good-for-you food choices.

Kids need to have fun. It is part of being a kid.

They also need to understand food choices so that they can maintain lifelong good health.

Last year I gave out Brown Rice Krispie Treats for Halloween.  The children loved them.  They taste the same as the conventional white rice krispies.

I also gave out the recipe on a card with a short note on the value of whole foods.  I wanted the parents to see that there are healthy Halloween choices. 
Halloween does not have to be a day of total gluttony.

Related Post: Recipe Brown Rice Krispie Treats

Halloween Health Foods?

I just sent out the Foodfocus recipe of the month club for this October and used the Brown Rice Krispie recipe as the featured recipe.

Some of the email questions and comments that I got back this week are as follows:

  • Where do I find brown rice krispie cereal?  What brands should I be looking for?

healthy halloween treatsThere are several brands of brown rice cereal.  I use Nature’s Path only because it is available in my local conventional grocery store’s “healthy section”.

Other brands include: Barbara’s and Erewhon’s. Most grocery stores now have a healthy or organic section, so I would look there first.  If you do not find it there, then check your health food stores.

The brand is almost irrelevant. As always look at the ingredient list of all cereals and pick out ones with no chemicals, hydrogenated fats and as few simple sugars as possible.

  • It is a lot more expensive!

Yes, it is a little more expensive and like anything else, you will get what you pay for.

I have found that it is less than a dollar more and the value is huge.  Teaching your children whole food choices even on a gluttonous holiday like Halloween will pay off long term in their medical costs.  How can you put a dollar value on your children’s health?!

The reasons that I am willing to pay the price for whole-grain foods and real food cereals like brown rice krispies are:

  1. More fiber
  2. More vitamins and minerals
  3. Better flavor
  4. White flours and refined grains increase your chance of cancer
  5. Hidden sugars cause obesity
  6. Hidden sugars cause diabetes
  7. Excess sugar consumption increases your chance of cancer
  • Deb, If you think using brown rice krispies makes it healthy, you are crazy!

You are correct… they are not healthy.

Using brown rice krispies only makes them HealthIER – They are still high in sugar and calories and certainly is not a health food snack or diet food.

Kids want to have fun. 

It would not work to give out carrot sticks or even raisins on Halloween. 

They are just not fun enough.  Making one small change in this kid favorite “candy” goes a long way to giving it better value.  The children are getting whole food, fiber and some vitamins with their snack instead of empty calories.

Pick Sweet Snacks & Candy With Healthy Ingredients:

All candy and sweets are not created equal. Make sure that the choice has some value no matter how small that may appear. You can always pick better products no matter what the product is.

  • Here are the ingredients of the brown rice cereal that I use:

organic whole grain brown rice, organic fruit juice concentrate (apple, peach, pear or pineapple), sea salt.

Those are all real food ingredients and the product is sweetened with fruit juice concentrate.

  • If you look at the label of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies these are the ingredients:

rice, sugar, salt, high fructose corn syrup, malt flavoring.

White rice is just the sugar part of the rice. Like wheat the bran and germ have been removed.  Kellog’s Rice Krispies include 4 sugars!!

rice, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, malt flavoring

There is absolutely no natural food value and no fiber! Why bother!

Rice krispie treats will never be health food but you can make them healthIER – isn’t that what it is all about!

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    Shared by: debbixler:

    I am sure they would be yummy with any kind of cereal. One time I made them with a whole grain flaked cereal. The kids did not like them as they were not used to whole grain flakes. The B rice hardly has a difference from the puffed white rice so kids who are not used to whole grain can not even tell the difference. I gave them out for Halloween last year!

    Shared by: sgoodkin:

    What a great idea! I know you really just can’t cut out all the sugar so changing the rice to be something good for you is a fabulous idea – I wonder if you could do puffed kamut or other grains as well?

    Shared by: debbixler:

    You can buy Brown Rice Krispy cereal at a health food store and at some conventional grocery stores. I just got a box at the regular grocery store near my house. They have a section for organic and healthier choices and have the brown rice cereal in that section.

    Be aware that just because it is in the healthy section or organic section, doesn’t mean it always is!! Please remember to read the ingredients lists of all foods even when it is promoted as being healthy or organic.

    Shared by: debbixler:

    I am certain you can use other grain cereals. Remember that brown rice is in the krispie treats is a cereal. We did not just use brown rice. So, if you have a kamut oe even an amaranth cereal there is no reason why you can not give it a whirl. Cooking is art, so get your talents in gear Anita, and let us know how things worked out!

    Shared by: Anita Kaiser:

    What a great idea! I know you really just can’t cut out all the sugar so changing the rice to be something good for you is a fabulous idea – I wonder if you could do puffed kamut or other grains as well?

    Shared by: Lori:

    I really like the way you reasoned this out before you made this choice.

    By the way, I have started eating 5-6 times a day with the “3” items (carb, fiber, protein) at each meal and it really is going much better for me. Keep up the good work. It has been a long time since I was able to have a day without a “sugar binge”. Thanks for all you do

    Shared by: debbixler:

    There sure is. If you compare it to carrots it is not a good choice, but you can not give out carrot sticks on Halloween. My goal is to teach people food choices. Whole food “candy like” items are better than no-value candy items. At least the brown rice has some value.

    Life is about choices. This is just a choice and can be used to teach kids food values. Make every calorie count. White rice krispies have no value at all. Yes, it is still not diet food and yes it is a better choice.

    Stay in touch, I like comments…

    Shared by: Lori:

    Isn’t there a lot of sugar in this recipe with the marshmellows and candy Deb?????

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