While it can be a bit tricky, it is possible to let your kids have fun on Halloween while not indulging too much in chocolate, gummy candy and caramels.
Halloween is just around the corner, which means kids everywhere will be filled with enough sugar to turn their blood to syrup.
All the candy can make a parent cringe, so a “healthy Halloween” may sound like a bit of an oxymoron. What fun is the holiday without a mountain of candy at the end of the night?
While it can be a bit tricky, it is possible to let your kids have fun on the holiday while not indulging too much in chocolate, gummy candy, and caramels.
Here are five things you can do to make this Halloween just a little bit healthier:
1. Eat dinner before Trick-or-Treating
One way to make sure your kids don’t make themselves sick on Halloween is to fill them up with healthy food before you go out to collect candy. Make a nutritious dinner before you head out, and make sure your antsy kids get enough to eat before they go. They may eat less of their candy while they are out and about.
Jordon Stimpson, dietary manager at Parke View Rehabilitation & Care Center, said having self-control when it comes to sweets can be difficult, even for adults.
“Healthy eating is about moderation, especially when it comes to fat and sugar,” she said. “A good way to avoid eating too many treats is to make sure you fill up first on highly nutritional foods.”
2. Eat the candy sensibly
Helping your kids eat healthy food all year long is all about making good choices. That goes for Halloween, too. Let your kids know it’s OK to eat their Halloween candy, but that they shouldn’t overindulge and eat it all before they go to bed on Halloween night. Let them have some candy on Halloween, then keep the candy out of sight and give it to them periodically over the next few days and weeks. Make sure they eat healthy foods before they have some of their candy so they can fill up on food with some nutritional value.
3. Hand out healthier treats
Parents and kids prefer packaged treats to homemade ones, as it is easier to tell what the food is and where it’s been. Unfortunately, that means your homemade quinoa granola bars will have to delight another crowd. However, you do have some choices beyond the usual 250-count bag of chocolate bars. Opt for fruit leather, pretzels or crackers. If you want to hand out candy, look for some that are lower in saturated fat and sugar.
4. Give out non-food fun
The healthiest Halloween treat is of the non-food variety. Not only will parents be grateful for the sugar-free surprise, but kids with food allergies will love coming to your house as well. Grab some bouncy balls, crayons and notebooks, bubbles or small toys to hand out. Make sure you have some variety that will please toddlers and grade-schoolers. If you decide to skip the food, be sure to let trick-or-treaters know that your house has allergy-free treats.
5. Donate or sell the candy
After your kids have had some candy on Halloween night, you might be able to convince them to get rid of their stash for some cash. Buy it back from them and donate the candy to a shelter or other organization. Some dentists offices buy back Halloween candy as well, so check near where you live. Your kids may be excited to skip the sugar if they can get some green instead.
For most kids, Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year. Dressing up, spooking their neighbors, and coming home with a bucket of candy is an annual highlight. If you want your kids to have a healthier holiday, try some of these tips so your kids can have fun without going overboard on candy.