With Halloween kicking off the start of a very sugar-filled holiday season, it can be difficult to stay healthy this time of year. How do you avoid all of the harmful refined sugars and ingredients you can’t pronounce without missing out on all of the fun? Finding healthier treats can be tricky. The good news is, there are healthier (and allergen friendly) goodies for you and the little witches and goblins to indulge on. Now you can enjoy Halloween without getting sick or packing on the pounds!
10 Parenting Tricks for Healthier Treats
1. Keep it Simple
Select whole food, or at least less processed ingredients. Examples include: fresh or dried fruit, packets of trail mix or nuts, honey sticks, crystallized ginger, protein powder packets, dark chocolates.
2. Select Healthier Alternatives
Learn to navigate food labels. Look for labels with minimal ingredients and a less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Examples include: mini Larabars, Spry gum & mints, dark chocolate and Zevia.
4. Get Moving
Balance the sugar binge by giving away items that promote fun outside activities related to athletics and movement. Check The Dollar Store for jump ropes, footballs, frisbees, hackie sacks, bouncy balls, etc.
5. Pull a Switch Witch
Teach your kids that less is more by trading 5 pieces of traditional candy (mini snickers) for 2 pieces of healthier indulgences (dark chocolate).
6. Hello Halloween Fairy
Allow your kids to exchange their bag of candy for a toy they’ve been wanting or some TV time!
7. Cash For Candy
Let kids sell their candy to a dentist near you!
8. Party at Home
Arrange a movie or game night with friends. Make healthier treats together, such as Spiderweb Eggs, Witch Fingers, Twix, Apple Jack-O-Lanterns, Jel-O-Lanterns, Apple or Banana Mummies, Apple Bites, Pumpkin Smoothie, Strawberry Owls, Frankenstein & One-Eyed Willy Pops, Mini Vampires, or Magic Cookie Bars.
9. Hay Ride or Haunted House
“I scream for ice cream!” Enjoy a spooky hay ride or a scary haunted house, then go out for a treat!
10. Christmas Decor
Use candy to build a gingerbread house for a lovely Christmas decoration!
Being healthy for a lifetime is all about helping your kids develop positive habits and attitudes toward food. Although many think every kid simply wants to get sugar sick on a bag full of candy, the reality is that most kids resonate long term with dressing up, scary games and the fun they have with their families. This Halloween, allow for some indulgence while creating balance as to what the real spirit of the holiday means.
Learn about the Teal Pumpkin Project by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.