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Make it a Healthy Halloween!

October 31, 2011

When you think of Halloween, the first few things that come to mind are probably costumes, trick or treating, pumpkin carving, and of    course TONS of candy and sweets.  It’s the only night of the year where we can transform ourselves into any character of choice (and not be labeled as crazy).  And of course kids love Halloween because of the massive amounts of candy they receive from trick or treating.  On average kids eats around 50-100 pieces of candy on Halloween and during the days after.  That’s a lot of candy! 

 Healthy Alternatives to Give to Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Non-food treats, like stickers, toys, temporary tattoos, false teeth, bottles of bubbles, or small games
  • Snacks such as individual bags of pretzels, trail mix, small boxes of raisins, or packaged pumpkin seeds
  • Small boxes of cereal
  • Granola bars

Have a Halloween Plan!

Encouraging children from a young age to incorporate treats in moderation is your best bet for surviving Halloween without a lot of belly-aches and cavities! Here are some simple ways you can ensure that your kids (and you) will have the healthiest Halloween possible, while still having tons of fun.  

  • Have a healthy well-balanced dinner before heading out to trick or treat. 
  • Screen trick-or-treat candy not only for safety reasons, but for nutritional reasons as well.  Toss gummies or candy that is very sticky (these stay in the mouth for a long time promoting tooth decay), and anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils. 
  • Divide treats into small plastic bags that can be eaten over a period of weeks or even months. 
  • Saving treats for a later time is helpful in preventing the “I ate too much candy, I’m so full!” belly-ache after trick-or-treating.  It’s also the perfect opportunity to encourage kids to practice moderation, portion control and mindful eating.
  • Come to an agreement with your children on how many pieces of candy they can eat each night.
  • Have children sort through their candy and pick out the pieces they do not like.  The excess can then be shared amongst the family or best of all, donated to a food bank.  
  • Store the candy out of sight to resist temptation of taking a piece every time you or the kids pass the bowl.
  • If you don’t really like it, don’t eat it!  Save your treat for something you genuinely love.
  • Be a good role model and eat candy in moderation.  If temptation is too hard, get rid of it!

   What changes will you make this year to make it a healthy Halloween?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    October 31, 2011 10:13 pm

    I am glad I read this, every year I try to think of healthy snacks to give out, without disappointing the kids! Handing out bubbles is a great idea!

  2. Jennifer permalink
    November 4, 2011 6:31 pm

    Wow, there were such useful tips, Bonnie! I took your advice and gave out little packs of carrots with a small bottle of bubbles to go with it and the kids really enjoyed it! I got such wonderful feedback from the parents and its all thanks to you! Can’t wait for the next post!

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