Alternative party treats

Photo Credit: C. Levine
Photo Credit: C. Levine

Janet Hackert, Regional Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Childhood obesity is more prevalent than ever. This is something to keep in mind throughout the fall and winter holiday season, when parties and snacks abound.

When it’s time to give kids a treat, it’s easy to think of candy, cake or soda; however, there are fun alternatives available that promote health rather than encourage unhealthy choices.

Frank Booth, MU professor in Biomedical Sciences, says many people incorrectly believe that overeating is the sole cause of obesity.

“Body weight is a balance between caloric intake and expenditure,” Booth said.

When looking for treats for party-goers or trick-or-treaters, think outside the box. Consider nutritious and tasty foods or non-food options, including things that get children up and moving to burn the calories they have consumed.

Individual packages of dried fruit or baked pretzels are easy to distribute. Fresh fruit, often called nature’s candy, can also be a real treat.

For great examples of non-food treats and activities that you can use for birthday or holiday parties at home or at school, view the full version of this article at


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