Most of us can barely believe that it is that time of year again. Dressing up, school parties, costume parades and trick-or-treating—these are the reasons Halloween tops the list of many kids’ favorite days. While no one wants to ruin this spooky and sugary celebration, with all the health concerns surrounding sugar and the poor diet habits of millions of Americans, it is always good to find ways to cut back on excess while still having fun and enjoying the treats that come with the holiday.
Here are a few helpful tips for Halloween and the days before and after to help have a healthier Halloween.
1. Switch it up. Cut your contribution to the candy landslide (Americans spend a whopping $2 billion on candy in the days before Halloween!) by giving out an alternative. Think: boxes of raisins or pretzels, temporary tattoos, glow sticks, fake fangs, stickers, small boxes of crayons or neat pencils, packages of nuts, dime store toys, and other little treats are all fun options
2. Lay the groundwork early. Before the festivities begin, make family rules about the amount of candy everyone is allowed to eat on Halloween day and post-Halloween. Managing expectations can make it easier to monitor when everyone is caught up in the fun of the holiday.
3. Consider a treat swap and offer your child a trade for their candy. For example, give them a nickel or dime for each piece of candy they turn in—then allow them to spend it on a toy, book, game or app instead. Or you could let them pick out something they’d like (within reason, of course!), and you can swap with them on how many pieces of candy it will cost them.
4. Eat three healthy protein-based meals and some healthy snacks on the day of the festivities. With a full tummy, your child will be less apt to eat mounds of candy on the go and may even grab fewer treats from overly generous neighbors.
Go organic. If you do buy candy, try to stick with organic sweets made of real cane sugar. Find these at many natural foods stores.
With a little pre-planning, it is possible to curb a bit of the candy craze this Halloween. So get out there and have fun with all those little ghouls, ghosts and superheroes.