It seems as though bowls of glistening candy wrappers lurk at every counter, desk and doorstep this time of year. Halloween has morphed into it’s own holiday season with the focus shifting from tricking to treating. While I am all for moderation, especially as it applies to food, Halloween has become an excuse for kids, big and small, to gorge on sweets well after the ghosts and goblins have raided the neighborhood. The sugar-centric nature of Halloween makes it one of the most tempting and unhealthiest of holidays. This year help your family avoid any sugary witchcraft with the following tricks:
- Instead of candy, give trick-or-treaters individual sized pretzels bags, raisins, or even toys such as stickers, temporary tattoos, or squeeze balls.
- Celebrate the creative aspects of Halloween such as making unique costumes, scary displays for the house, carving pumpkins and cooking Halloween inspired foods like roasted pumpkin seeds (recipe here).
- Make sure that you, and your child eat a balanced meal with ample amounts of protein before going out trick-or-treating. This real food will fill up your belly so there is less room to fill up on candy. Before heading out in costume, my family traditionally enjoys a hefty serving of Sloppy Joes.” And for you more crafty types try these “Spooky Joes” instead.
- Show your kids you value a healthy lifestyle over candy. Let them pick a few of their favorites candies and put them aside for special occasions. Then offer a penny or nickel for each remaining piece of candy. Let your kids use the money they “earned” to buy something meaningful and long lasting.
- Don’t keep candy sitting around to tempt you or your kids. Donate any leftover candy to troops overseas through organizations such as Operation Gratitude’s Halloween Candy Buy Back program.
Most importantly have fun and be safe!