This post was originally published on October 5, 2016 and updated on October 13, 2020.

For many moms, the scariest part of Halloween is trick-or-treating. It’s frightening to think about the artificial colors and unpronounceable ingredients in Halloween treats. Thankfully, this year’s haul may be healthier. Some stores are expanding their selections of better-for-you treats. And many candy manufacturers are using natural ingredients such as non-GMO Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil in their Halloween products. But that doesn’t mean you can get through the holiday without a scare. Here’s what moms need to know this Halloween.

Watch out for these tricks

  1. Sugar overload. Between school parties, trick-or-treating and overly generous grandparents, your kids may end up with an enormous amount of candy. Let them indulge for a day or two, but don’t allow this habit to continue. This constant onslaught of sugar is bad news for their overall health. A better solution? Let them get their sugar through vitamin-rich and naturally sweet fruits. Look for a candy buy-back program so they can exchange their sugary candy stash for gift cards or cash.
  2. Sour candy. They may be popular, but those ultra-tart sweets may cause irreversible damage to your kids’ teeth. Research shows that sour candy increases the mouth’s acidity which may erode teeth enamel. If your kids insist on a face-puckering treat, follow it with a glass of neutralizing water or hormone-free, organic milk.
  3. Calories. Some kids double, triple or even quadruple their calorie intake on Halloween. They probably won’t walk off those extra calories going door-to-door. Smart moms realize this imbalance and serve lower calorie meals on Halloween as well as the days following.  

Keep it natural with these treats

  1. Malaysian sustainable palm oil. Many American food manufacturers are now using non-GMO Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil in their products instead of hydrogenated oils made with genetically modified soy, corn or canola oil. This rich and creamy oil is sustainably grown and produced in eco-friendly Malaysia. This country is committed to producing sustainable foods. Its strict laws prohibit any practices that harm native wildlife or their environment.
  2. Non-food treats. Between the childhood obesity epidemic and the rising awareness of food allergies and intolerances, non-food Halloween treats are becoming easier to find. Stay Earth-friendly by handing out usable items such as pencils, erasers and coins instead of plastic toys. And be sure to place a teal pumpkin on your porch. This signifies that all trick-or-treaters are welcome at your house
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