Halloween is just around the corner! During this season, it is important to remember that while children’s day-to-day eating habits have the most impact on their health, there are some ways to make Halloween a healthier experience. Here are some easy tips to prioritize your family’s health and still enjoy this fun holiday!
Have an Early Dinner
Before you go out to trick-or-treat, plan to have a healthy dinner with your children. Providing a balanced meal before trick or treating will help ensure that candy will not substitute for dinner. Also, because they have already been nourished from their meal, they will be less likely to overindulge in Halloween treats.
Instead of giving your children a pillowcase or a giant bucket for collecting candy, offer a smaller container for trick-or-treating. This will decrease the volume of candy your child will collect and consume overall. You can also encourage your child to take only one piece of candy from each house to reduce the overall amount of candy your child gets. When handing out candy yourself, opt for fun-size candy instead of full-sized. These tips help ensure that your child enjoys candy in moderation instead of in excess.
There are plenty of Halloween activities that can also serve as exercise. Instead of driving while trick-or-treating, walk from house to house instead. You can also encourage activities that will get your child moving, such as a costume parade, zombie dance party, or relay races to get them in the Halloween spirit!
Throw a Healthier Party
If you are throwing a party this Halloween, there are some things you can do to make it healthier while sticking to your party theme. Serve healthier snack options like popcorn tossed in cinnamon and sugar or pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffins. You can also offer drink options that are lower in sugar, such as a healthy Halloween themed punch. Try adding a splash of 100% orange juice to a sparkling water base and garnishing it with orange slices and blackberries.
Don’t be afraid to be That House
Contrary to tradition, you don’t have to pass out candy on Halloween. You can give out healthier items instead, like oranges decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns, 100% juice boxes, or snack-sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, and trail mix. Nonfood items such as glow sticks, vampire teeth, or stickers are always a hit as well!
Halloween does not have to be an unhealthy holiday for your family. Using these 5 tips for a Healthy Halloween will help ensure that your children still have fun while keeping their health in mind. These tips will help not only your children but others in your community as well!
American Heart Association. (2023, September 12). How to have a healthy Halloween. www.heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/how-to-have-a-healthy-halloween
Ellis, E. (2023). Tips for a healthy Halloween Party. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: eatright.org. https://www.eatright.org/food/cultural-cuisines-and-traditions/holidays-and-celebrations/tips-for-a-healthy-halloween-party