With Halloween just around the corner, you’re probably choosing candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. We know you want to give out the “good stuff” and be the favorite house on the block, but as a family dentist in Fuquay-Varina, we would be remiss if we didn’t share some alternatives to sugary sweets. Fortunately, there are some teeth-friendly options that kids will still love, and to help you know what to pick, we’re sharing our favorite alternatives to candy.
Sugar-Free or Low Sugar Halloween Snacks
Because Halloween is closely associated with handing out snacks and treats, let’s take a look at four low-sugar foods to hand out.
There’s a reason why many dentists advocate sugar-free gum after meals – while it’s not as beneficial as brushing your child’s teeth, chewing sugar-free gum does help clean teeth after eating. It promotes saliva production which neutralizes any bacteria or acids caused by eating, and it helps to rinse the teeth to dislodge small food particles. While you would want to avoid giving this to smaller children and toddlers, sugar-free bubble gum can be a great alternative to traditional candy.
Snack Sized Crackers or Pretzels
The past few years, we have noticed more salty-snack options in the Halloween sections with Goldfish crackers, hull-free popcorn, and pretzels. While simple carbs can break down into sugar on the teeth, these are much better options for children and make a great addition to a lunch or after-school snack.
To avoid handing out (or indulging in!) sugary treats, consider sugar-free lollipops like Zollipops which can be found at Target. These teeth-friendly treats are sweetened with xylitol and erythritol which are actually found to strengthen and support tooth enamel. Just one or two is plenty though as some people experience digestive upset after too much sugar-free candy.
If you do want to hand out chocolate or candy bars, there are still “better” options. In fact, because chocolate doesn’t stick to teeth the way hard candy does, it’s actually a better choice for a “sometimes snack.” Consider lower sugar, lower chocolate options like Peanut Butter Twix or Reese’s Ultimate PB Lovers as the peanut butter in these options are lower in sugar and there isn’t as much chocolate. Also, Pay Day bars offer some surprising benefits, because while there is a caramel center, crunching peanuts acts as a scrubbing motion for your teeth, helping to keep them clean and remove sugar and food debris.
Choosing Non-Candy Halloween Treats
Because food allergies and concerns about healthy eating are becoming increasingly common, more people are choosing to skip handing out candy altogether, instead offering toys and trinkets instead. Consider these popular options:
- Tiny bubbles
- Mini crayon packs
- Glow sticks
- Mini Play-Doh
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