Is Having a healthy Halloween possible?
The kids look adorable in their costumes and are counting down the days until October 31! Are you ready for the sugar rush? With a little creativity, you can find fun ways to include some healthy options in the mix, whether you’re having a party with friends or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.
What kid doesn’t want to eat their favorite candy right when it goes into their trick-or-treat bag? Having a healthy meal BEFORE your kids go trick-or-treating can reduce their temptation to snack while walking or to overindulge, because their tummies will be full.
Bag the monster bag. Choose or make a smaller collection container for your child and steer clear of the pillow case method. If you encourage kids to only take one piece of candy from each house, they’ll be able to visit more houses in the neighborhood.
Get moving. Get some exercise by making Halloween a fun family activity. Walk instead of driving kids house to house. Set a goal of how many houses or streets you’ll visit, or compete in teams to do as many as you can. Bring a bottle of water and a flashlight, and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
Look before you eat. Check expiration dates and inspect all edibles before allowing children to eat them. Don’t let children eat anything with questionable or unknown ingredients, especially if they have food allergies.
Have a plan. Halloween, and Eat Smart Month in November, can be a great time to talk with kids about moderation and making smart eating choices. Plan in advance how much candy they’ll be allowed to take at each house, keep, and eat. If they’re old enough, let them help decide what to do with excess candy.
You don’t have to pass out candy on Halloween. Start a new tradition and give out healthier treats or non-edible items. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about toothbrushes! Get creative, and keep it colorful and kid-friendly. Here are some ideas.
Clementines, blood oranges, or oranges decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns (with non-toxic ink)
100% juice boxes or pouches
Snack-sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, dried fruit or vegetables, trail mix, nuts, or pumpkin seeds
100% real fruit strips, ropes or leathers
Squeezable yogurt tubes or pouches
Single-serving containers of mandarin oranges
Sugar-free gum Non-edible items:
Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
Mini plush toys and wind-up toys
Crayons and coloring books (or intricate coloring pages for older kids)
Stickers or stamps
Spider rings or vampire teeth
Slime, putty or squishy toys
Be careful to avoid giving very small items that could be a choking hazard to little ones.