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      Candy alternatives in time for Halloween

      Candy... the sugar high on most children's minds any day, any time.. especially on Halloween. And although trick or treating happens on that particular day, the aftermath of sugar overload can last for weeks.

      "What happens when we eat a lot of sugar in our diets is it tends to displace some of the healthy foods we should be eating," Munising Memorial Hospital Dietician Paula Ackerman said.

      Experts say added sugars in children's diets should not exceed 100 calories a day. But don't be fooled by bite-size packages.

      Fifteen pieces of candy corn can easily add up to 150 calories. A treat that most kids find hard to turn down.

      "If you're going to offer them a piece of fruit or say a sucker, 9 out of 10 times they're going to grab the sucker," Ackerman said.

      So why not trick their habits by treating them healthy snacks? Sugar-free candies and water-based fruits can do the trick.

      But don't put away those treats just yet. Experts say sugar in moderation is OK, however, if you're worried about calorie intake for your child, there are other items to replace candy in those goody bags.

      Like toys, or bracelets, or even school supplies.

      "We've had a number of people come in and their child gets to pick out a gift or toy of sorts that we have as opposed to the candy," Jennifer Ray, owner of Doncker's in Marquette, said.

      Ackerman said there is one thing parents should always keep in mind on Halloween.

      "Make sure they get a good dinner so that when they're going out trick or treating they're not starving and the first house they hit they're starting to grab into that snack bag," Ackerman said.