Lollipops. Don't shy away because of the sugar content. Treats like lollipops take a long time to finish, which could slow the flow. "In the time it takes kids to chow through that whole bag of candy, they could have been working on a lollipop and been equally happy," Ansel says.
Granola bars. If the first ingredient listed is whole oats, these are likely a good option, Ansel says. But double-check that there's no hydrogenated fats or high-fructose corn syrup. Granola bars sweetened with brown sugar are best.
Chocolate-covered cranberries, raisins, or cherries. Hidden underneath that thin layer of chocolate is a healthful surprise: "It's a great way to get some fruit in your kids," Ansel says. For example, a handful of chocolate covered raisins offers calcium, iron, and fiber.
Sugar-free gum. It helps keep your teeth clean by stimulating production of saliva. In fact, it's recommended by the American Dental Association as a best-bet Halloween treat. Wrigley's sugar-free gum comes in flavors like strawberry shortcake, mint chocolate chip, and key lime pie. One stick contains just five calories.
If you choose to indulge, keep portion control in mind: "The key is quantity, not ingredients," says Ansel. If the kids want candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, teach moderation by including it as a snack or one part of a meal, rather than making it the main event. And it's OK to pack a few fun-size candies in the school lunch along with the carrots and fruit. As Ansel says, "It's Halloween, and it does only come once a year."