Craving sweet treats this Halloween? Steer clear of sugar-laden sweets. Instead, opt for healthy snacks that appeal to your sweet tooth, but forgo the sugar.
WHY AVOID SUGAR?
Sugar is well known to be bad news for anyone. It can aggravate acne and can cause mood swings, plus wreak havoc on your blood sugar. But, it can also cause far worse problems like cancer and heart disease. In fact, sugar is the culprit in a lot of harmful health issues.
ALSO AVOID ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
On the other hand, some sugar-free candies and gum contain ingredients, such as aspartame and sucralose, which can be bad for humans. Watch out for chocolate and xylitol, found in some sugar-free candies and gum, which can be very dangerous for dogs, causing increased heart rate, hyperactivity, seizures, and even death. But, thankfully, there are some sweet alternatives like stevia, which comes from a plant in powder or liquid form, as well as maple syrup and honey, that are not toxic. What’s best? Stick with what’s natural.
This Halloween, do without the harmful sweet stuff, but still enjoy your sweet treats! Here are two fun recipes for Halloween-inspired treats your kids and family will enjoy.
SWEET SUGAR-FREE TREATS
Ghoulish Apple Mouths
3 red apples, cut vertically in half to form lips
6 tablespoons peanut butter (or another fav nut butter to spread for ghoulish gums)
2 strawberries, sliced to create tongues
Several sunflower seeds for teeth
Several plastic bugs like flies and spiders for even more “eww” factor!
With a paring knife, carve away the inside of the apple to leave gaping lips. Spread nut butter inside each mouth and place sunflower teeth along upper and lower “gums,” leaving a small snaggle space between each tooth. Add a strawberry slice “tongue” between the lips and, to gross guests out, garnish ghoulish apple mouths with plastic bugs. Remember to let your guests know those bugs aren’t edible!
Recipe adapted from: forkandbeans.com/2014/10/14/apple-sunbutter-teeth-bites/
Pretzel Sticks (mouths and bolts)
Dried wild blueberries (eyes)
Slice kiwi in half so it stands up. With a peeler, remove some fuzzy skin at the top to create messy hair. Add a small pretzel stick for Frankenstein’s mouth. Then, push two thick pretzel sticks into both sides of Frankenstein’s neck. For the eyes, press two dried wild blueberries above the pretzel mouth. It’s your creature. It’s alive—or at least edible! (And it’s definitely healthy).
Recipe adapted from: twohealthykitchens.com/frankenstein-kiwis-another-healthy-halloween-treat/
Here are some health-saving safety tips for your furry friends to keep them safe, healthy, and happy this Halloween.
BASICS OF PET SAFETY THIS HALLOWEEN
- Keep candy and other treats stowed away where your canine companion can’t get them. Even high countertops may not be off-limits if you have big counter-surfing dogs who may swipe your stash when you’re not looking. Be careful with wrappers and packaging, too, which clever canines may find equally appetizing.
- Pets can dart outside, so minimize the risk of your furry friend getting lost, stolen, or hurt. Keep your buddy on a leash and be sure your pet is tagged with proper identification. An embedded microchip is always a good idea.
- When dressing your pet up along with the kids, make sure your pet is safe and comfortable. Not all pets tolerate attire. If they’re not feeling it, don’t force them. Be smart and try costumes on before Halloween in case adjustments are needed.
- Guard dog or greeter? Depending on your pet’s temperament, you may want to keep your canine companion away from visitors. Halloween may be the time to leave your pet in another room, far from noisy doorbell rings of trick-or-treaters. Keeping your pet calm, stress-, and anxiety-free is important for everyone.
- Jack-o-lanterns may be an important part of the Halloween holiday tradition, but keep Fido away from carved pumpkins and open flames.Instead, opt for battery-operated lights.
Stay safe and have fun, whether you and your pets trick or treat from door-to-door or stay home and party. Happy Halloween!