When Halloween rolls around, both kids and adults get ready to consume lots of candy and an abundance of other great tasting treats. No matter what your age, we all know that this holiday isn’t traditionally the healthiest. But what if it could be? Here are 5 creative ideas that will keep the Halloween spirit alive without hurting your health.
Pack Them with Protein
Children are always in a rush to get their costumes on and get out the door to collect a huge bag of candy. Because of the chaotic nature of Halloween night, most parents simply order unhealthy food for dinner such as fast food or pizza. But, is that really the healthiest thing? Your kids are going to need sustenance while walking around all night, especially since they are probably going to be eating copious amounts of candy for weeks. Don’t skimp on a good homemade meal! Whatever you make, ensure that it has plenty of protein to help keep your kids full and energized throughout the busy evening.
Trade with Your Children
When kids have too much candy, simply taking it away from them can be confusing. And, let’s face it, they get angry. Offering some kind of trade-off gives kids some control and helps keep their candy intake in check. Try offering other treats like TV time, books, and small games to get the candy away from them. Make each activity or reward cost a different amount of candy. For example, for one book you could request two pieces of candy, while a half hour of TV time could require three to five. Healthier activities should cost less, and more “unhealthy” activities should be more of a challenge.
Over the last few years, it seems like more and more parents have opted to drive kids around their Halloween route instead of walking. Although it may seem like the easier option, it is also a lot less beneficial. Your kids will already be full of candy in the next few weeks, and exercise is key to making sure they stay healthy. Walking the route may be a little bit hectic, but it really is the best option. Plus, getting out in the open air is a lot more fun than riding in a loud car all night!
Skip the Sweet Treats
Kids love candy, but by the end of the night they’ll have collected so much that they really will not care which homes opted for healthier options. If you feel strongly about trying a healthier Halloween, consider skipping candy and taking a more creative approach instead. It’s true, carrot sticks or apples slices are not the most exciting options, but small toys like bouncy balls or plastic vampire teeth are a ton of fun! Plus, kids will still be able to enjoy them in six months, while candy often only lasts a few minutes. If you do feel the need to hand out something edible, go with wholesome options like multi-grain granola bars or dried fruit.
Don’t Get Sucked In
That November 1st sale may seem like a great deal, but stay firm! Buying big bags of discounted candy will just bring more unhealthy temptations into your home. Avoid all the extra sugar and calories that come from those sales by mustering up the strength to skip them entirely. If you must go, make a promise to skip the candy section and look only for decorations and Halloween-themed toys. Recruit a friend or family member to keep you accountable!
Even though Halloween is known as the holiday of candy and unhealthy habits, you can still make a few healthy tweaks without sacrificing the fun. These five tips and tricks will help you keep Halloween interesting and ensure your kids and family remain healthy through it all.
Waxman, O. (2012, October 30). 5 Tips for a Healthy Halloween | TIME.com. Retrieved from http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/30/5-tips-for-a-healthy-halloween/. October 22, 2015.
Heart and Vascular Team. (2012, October 2) 5 Tips for a Heart-Healthy Halloween – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2012/10/5-tips-for-a-heart-healthy-halloween/. October 22, 2015.
Lehman, S. (2014, April 25). Tips for a Healthy (and Happy) Halloween. Retrieved from http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutritionforchildren/qt/halloweencandy.htm. October 22, 2015.