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Halloween History In The US and Healthy Treats

Halloween is a holiday in October known for costumes, candy, trick or treating, and parties. Start a new trend this year, serve healthy treats for the family at home or for the party you're attending or throwing. Give out something different to trick or treaters this year instead of just candy.

Photo Source: Cage 8

A Brief History of Halloween In the United States

Animation Source: Giphy

The custom of trick or treating began in the 1930s and early 1940s. Children went from house to house collecting cookies, candy, apples, fruit, nuts, and toys. Sometimes adults performed magic tricks. In the 1930s costumers began to be sold in shops making the holiday more official.

Candy manufacturers began to make candy bars and treats that were affordable. Eventually stores sold wrapped candy bar and treats, This became more acceptable to hand out for safety reasons. The first Hersey bar came out in 1900. and Hershey kisses in 1907.

Animation Source: Giphy

The peanut butter cup was developed in the 1920s by Harry Reese. His company was called the R.B. Reese Candy Company and eventually bought by Hershey in 1963. In 1923 Frank Mars came out with the Milky Way bar and in 1930 the Snicker bar named after his favorite horse.

His son had a falling out with Frank Mars and in 1941 started the M & M Company in England. In 1937 the Kit Kat Bar came out and was originally called Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp. It was first sold in England. The company was owned by Nestle. Candy corn was developed in 1880 by George Reninger from the Wunderle Candy Company. of Pennsylvania.

Photo Source Wix Media

Allentown Pennsylvania sponsored the first annual parade around 1920 and in 1921 Anota, MN had the first citywide party. Trick or treating lead in some cities and towns to vandalism, soaping windows, ringing doorbells, pulling alarms, throwing eggs, and other destructive behavior.

Halloween parties became popular in schools and homes due to the number of children in the 1950s. In 1966 the cartoon Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was made and became very popular. The movie Halloween was released in 1978 with Michael Meyers the serial killer and the movie became a Halloween cult classic.

During 1999 about 92% of American children went trick or treating. In 2016 American consumers spent 8.4 billion on candy, costumes, and decorations for Halloween. It is a consumer holiday shaped by current demands of consumers. Retailers sell candy, costumes, food, decorations, movies, and songs during this time.

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Healthy Snacks and Items for Trick or Treaters

Photo Source: Liz West/Flicker

Food Items

  • Popcorn

  • Pretzels

  • 50-70% cacao chocolate bars

  • Raisins

  • Granola Bars

  • Fruit Leather

  • Popcorn balls

  • Chocolate covered fruit slices

  • Trail mix

  • Fig bars

Non-Food Items

  • Stickers

  • Small boxes of crayons

  • Halloween pencils or bookmarks

  • whistles

  • squirt guns

  • Small wooden toys

  • glow in the dark balls

  • small flashlights

  • Bubble solution and wand

  • Halloween ballons

  • Pre-made slime kits

  • Halloween stamps

Healthy Snack Recipes For Halloween Parties

Louisiana Cajun Popcorn

Serves: 6 Preparation Time: 0:15

Popcorn has always been a popular snack. This recipes adds some hot spices to give the recipe a kick. Ground Hungarian paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin can be found in you local supermarket spice section.

Animation Source: Giphy


1 bag of microwave popcorn or 1 cup popcorn 2 teaspoon ground Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons of olive oil


1. Pop the popcorn first the way you usually in you popcorn maker, or microwave. Do not add any seasoning while popping .

2. Add all the spices and olive oil and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Animations Source: Giphy



6 navel or Valencia oranges seedless peeled and segmented 6 bananas sliced thin 1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 tablespoons sour cream


Cut and peel the oranges removing every particle of skin. Section the orange with sharp knife cutting each segment and put in bowl with juice. Add lemon juice. Peel and slice the bananas then mix with the oranges. Mix in sour cream evenly and add shredded coconut. Chill for about 1 hour. Add the shredded coconut just before serving.

Serves 6

Animation Source: GIphy

Spicy Chicken Bites

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin salt to taste


Cut chicken breasts into bit size chunks. Mix the olive oil, chili powder, and cumin. Dip chicken chunks into chili mix. Coat the pieces evenly. Place chicken on baking pan with parchment paper in 350 degree oven. Cook for about 20 minutes to half-hour until chicken pieces are cooked. Serve hot with toothpick. Add ranch dressing as a dip.


Keep warm on warming trays or cover pan with foil. Serve half the batch on plate. Keep rest in oven on low to replenish when low.

Sour Cream Cheddar Chili Dip

Serve this dip with baked tortilla chips, wheat cracker or vegetables.


2 cups sour cream 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 1 package shredded yellow cheddar cheese

Animation: Giphy

Place sour cream in medium bowl. Mix in chili powder, cumin and Tabasco sauce. Add the shredded cheddar cheese mix thoroughly with spoon. Make sure ingredients are blended thoroughly. Refrigerate the mixture at least one hour covered.

Serve this dip chilled with baked tortilla chips, nachos, potato chips and or crackers of cut vegetables.

*You can place dip on serving platter surround by several choices and let guest choose.

* Place a bowl or aluminum pan of crushed ice under the dip to keep it cold

Photo Source: Wix Media


The Haunted History of Halloween Candy, by Elizabeth Nix, October 2023, History

Halloween 2023 History Channel

The History of Halloween, by Ellen Feldman, October 2001, American Heritage

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