Halloween is coming and I think as moms, it crosses our minds that our kids may make themselves sick on all of the candy that they MAY eat! Well, what if I told you that maybe you can make Halloween a little healthier (those two words really don't even go together!) for your kids. I have a couple of ideas to get you through the night and hopefully keep your kids off of the super charged sugar train!
FOR YOUR TRICK-OR-TREATER:
Have a healthy meal before you head out trick-or-treating. I mean, every kid wants to pop that first piece of candy in their mouths as they are running down the sidewalk of their first house! If you have had a healthy meal beforehand, maybe their temptation to snack or overindulge may be less because their stomachs are full.
Teach moderation. Encourage your child to only take 1-2 pieces of candy from each house. You can stress to your child that this will allow you all to visit more houses in the neighborhood (because they will have more room in their bag) AND to emphasize the importance of sharing and making sure there is enough candy for children who come behind them.
Get walking. Instead of driving from house to house, take off walking with a group of friends to go trick-or-treating. This makes it more fun AND it gets you all moving. This is actually easier too, than getting in and out of a car over and over again, every block or so. Let them run off some of that energy and some of that candy!
Check your goodies. Make sure you check your child's candy before they dig in. Don't let them eat anything that looks questionable, and especially check ingredients if your child has any food allergies. I wrote a four-part series on food allergies if you are interested in substitutions for certain allergies.
Communicate. This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about moderation and making smart eating choices. Naturally, they are going to want to eat it all, but this is a great opportunity to teach them about planning and moderation.
FOR THE CREW HANDING OUT THE CANDY:
If you are staying home and giving out the candy, don't let it be a free-for-all self-serve Halloween. Hand each child 1-2 pieces of candy, instead of letting them decide how much to take. They will leave with fists full of candy, and you will run out wayyyy before trick-or-treating is over!
You could always be "that house"! That house that doesn't hand out candy - (gasp)! But seriously, you could give different things that kids enjoy.
clementines or oranges decorated as pumpkins
100% juice boxes or pouches
snack size packages of pretzels, popcorn, trail mix
100% real fruit strips, ropes, or leathers
crayons & coloring books
stickers or stamps
friendship bracelets or spider rings
ALSO - in some places, people are putting out BLUE PUMPKINS to let trick-or-treaters know that they are an allergy-free house. This means that children with allergies can visit their house without the fear of receiving something that does not contain milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, etc. These houses will be giving out things like the non-edible treats listed above. What a great idea! Halloween can be a stressful night for parents of children with allergies, and this gives them piece of mind as they still get to go out and participate in the fun!
So, try some of these ideas to help you and your family have a healthier Halloween. It doesn't have to be all sugar and junk. There are ways to celebrate the night and not have to worry that your child will end up in a sugar coma the next day! 🙂