Halloween is a fun time of year in which adults and children alike can put on a costume and embrace their inner playfulness. People naturally smile and laugh more when they’re wearing a fun costume — even if they’re dressed as something scary such as a vampire or a zombie. Fall carnivals, costume parties, and making treats can all be a blast, but all the traditional candies and sweets can be horrifying to your teeth! We’d like to give you some ideas for Halloween treats that are on the healthier side for all those chompers and fangs so you can keep on smiling long after Halloween is over. This makes dentists in New York happy!

1. Homemade Gummy Worms

Gummy Worms

This is a fun and easy treat without all the high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes that can promote dental caries and staining of dental enamel. All you need for the recipe is 8 oz. of your favorite juice, stevia soda, or coconut water. (You may want to try this recipe with all three of those ideas for a variety and different color variations to your gummy worms.) For grown-up tastes, you might want to add essential oils of peppermint, lavender, lime, or cinnamon to the mix. (We particularly like the combination of coconut water, lime essential oil, and peppermint essential oil for mint mojito flavored gummy worms.) You will need 6 tbsp. of unflavored gelatin per 1 cup of liquid. Sweeten the mixture with a little bit of stevia, erythritol, or xylitol if desired. Whisk all the ingredients together and heat in a saucepan to a low simmer. Then transfer the mixture to a glass measuring cup so you can easily pour it into silicone candy molds. You can use a “gummy worm” candy mold, or any other shape such as bears, stars, or hearts.

2. Mummies

Mummy Treats

These mummies make an excellent hors d’oeuvre for your Halloween party. They’re also a great snack or lunch box items for the kids. All you need is your favorite hot dog variety, white sweet potatoes, ketchup, and a handful of sunflower seeds. You’ll also need a spiralizer for cutting the sweet potatoes. Simply run the uncooked white sweet potato through the spiralizer to create long white shreds. These will be the “bandages” for your mummies. Cut the hot dogs in two. These are the mummy bodies. Simply wrap the hot dogs with the potato shreds, except for the top end of each hot dog, which will be the “face.” Place all the mummies on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven until the potatoes become brown and toasty. Add two sunflower seeds to each mummy face to make eyes. Then drizzle on the ketchup for the “blood.” You could also use a pre-made dough for the bandages and black-eyed peas for the eyes. Just be creative and don’t forget to have fun!

3. Almond Joy Bombs

Almond Joy Bombs

These are tasty treats for children and adults of all ages, and they are much healthier for your teeth than the old pre-packaged treat we all know. You will probably agree that these taste better too. All you need to make your own Almond Joy Bombs is ½ cup of chopped almonds, 2 cups of unsweetened coconut shreds, ½ cup of your favorite chocolate or carob chips, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 can of coconut cream (14 oz.), ¼ tsp almond extract, and ⅓ cup of real Vermont maple syrup. Add the maple syrup to the coconut cream in a saucepan and simmer for about 40 minutes. Next, add all other ingredients except for the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Make the mixture into little balls (about the size of a golf ball) and let cool on a cooking sheet with parchment paper in the refrigerator. After about an hour, you will heat the chocolate chips and coconut oil until it liquefies. Then drizzle over the coconut almond mounds. Chill and serve!