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Treat or trick

Posted Oct 28 2013 10:00am

What to hand out at Halloween is always a dilemma. Should I give out healthy treats? Should I give in to popular demand and buy bags of candy at Target? And then there is always the possibility of leftovers to consider — as in, what do I want to have leftover for me to eat? I've mentioned before that for years I bought small boxes of raisins, which the little kids and their parents seemed to like a lot, but which the older kids scorned. One year I heard my next door neighbor, who was about 10, say to her friend, "don't go to that house. They always give out raisins." I felt like an outcast.

Then we discovered big Halloween sacks filled with small bags of Snyder's pretzels. Everyone seemed to like them, but they were hard to find, and some years they just weren't available. One year I went out and bought chocolate candy like everyone else. The kind of candy I really wanted was too expensive to buy in bulk, so I bought a few 'good' things for the kids whose parents I knew wouldn't let them eat junk, and everyone else got ... junk. But not only did I feel guilty, I had to haul the leftovers into work, because mostly the stuff wasn't even vegan. My co-workers appreciated it but I was sad. I prefer feeding people good, vegan food.

The first couple of years in Seattle, we had about three people show up for Halloween, but in the neighborhood where we are now, quite a large number of children come, and we're back in the trick-or-treat business again. This year, we found a few different treats to offer. If you are a last minute shopper like me, maybe these suggestions will be of use.

My husband found the pretzels again at Whole Foods, so we have 24 bags of those. I can't eat them because of the gluten, so they go first. Then we have some Stretch Island fruit leather and some Clif Kid Zbars. That should trick the treaters into eating something a little better than the usual junk.

Stretch Island says their fruit leather contains 1/2 serving of fruit in each strip. According to their Web site they are 100% natural with no artificial additives, made from real-fruit purée with no added sugar – all sugar comes naturally from fruit, and they are non-GMO Project Verified. Stretch Island® products use only BPA-free packaging.

We found the Zbars this weekend at Costco, and they were the most reasonably priced healthyish treats we spotted. We got a box of 24 for $10.79, which is a lot less than they sell for elsewhere. In fact, it's a crazy price. They are usually between $13 and $18, depending on where you buy them. There were three flavors in the box — Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip and Iced Oatmeal Cookie. Here's a sample of what ingredients are in a Clif Kid Zbar
INGREDIENTS: Organic Oat Blend (Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Oat Fiber), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Chocolate Chips (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Fig Paste, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Maple Syrup, Organic Soy Butter (Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil, Salt), Organic Chocolate (Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Milled Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Baking Soda, Sea Salt. The bars may contain traces of dairy, gluten and peanuts.

Hopefully, we'll have enough stuff for all the kids who show up.

Do you get many trick-or-treaters? Do you feel compelled to hand out healthy treats or do you just buy bags of regular candy? If you were going trick-or-treating, what do you wish people would put in your bag?

Click to enlarge.

Full disclosure: All products were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. I wasn't paid to write the post.

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