Halloween is well on its way, and your kids are probably chomping at the bit for the day filled with fun costumes and bags overflowing with candy. While your children are counting down the days, you may be filling with dread at the thought of October 31st’s bevvy of unhealthy treats. If you’re looking to make this Halloween healthier than the last, there’s a few tips and tricks that you can use to reinforce good eating habits and avoid the sugar overload that happens so often on this spook-tacular occasion.
Cook a hearty and healthy meal that will keep your little one full throughout their fun night of trick or treating adventures. A full belly may prevent them from eating too many sweets, and you’ll be able to reinforce your normal healthy eating habits even on Halloween.
Set a Great Example
Kids aren’t the only ones that love a good piece of candy. You might be finding it hard to ignore the siren’s call of mouthwatering chocolate or yummy candy corn, but it’s up to you to set a healthy example. To help yourself fight temptation, only buy candy for trick or treaters at the last minute, and don’t eat the candy in front of your kids. If they see you gorging, they will think that it’s okay for them to do the same—monkey see, monkey do mentality here, moms and dads.
Implement a new tradition this Halloween that provides the right amount of sweet while offering some great health benefits. Order your children some special, healthier Halloween treats ahead of time from a company like Shari’s Berries. Fun-to-eat and perfectly-themed chocolate dipped fruits are fresh and decadent, and just enough to satisfy your child’s sweets hankering without going overboard. If they enjoy a few of these yummy, healthier treats before getting their normal Halloween basket fodder, they’ll be less likely to gorge on nutritionally bankrupt candies.
Candy for a Cause
You can cut down on your child’s intake of sweets while also enforcing generosity and good will towards others this Halloween. When you get home from a long night of candy gathering, direct your child to make two piles, placing a single candy at a time: one candy for themselves, and one to a separate collection. This will allow them to pick their favorite treats and still indulge in the holiday. Take the donated pile to a food bank or local charity as a small gift of Halloween cheer. Your child will learn an early lesson about giving back to their community and still enjoy their own sweet treats in the days following.
A Fun Surprise for Trick-or-Treaters
Instead of handing out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, think of a fun alternative that they will enjoy just as much. Whether it be an entertaining yo-yo or temporary tattoos (with children-friendly designs), little ones will be delighted by your surprise gift, and parents will be grateful that there’s less candy to worry about.
Talk to your kids beforehand and let them know that even though they will be undoubtedly receiving a large load of candy on Halloween night, they will not get to gorge themselves on all of it in one sitting. The statistics are scary: one health professional estimated that children may eat up to 7,000 calories on Halloween because of treats. That’s more calories than kids need over the course of several days. Let your child indulge a bit on the big night, but limit their candy intake and talk to them beforehand about your reasons for it. Then, in the days following, allow them a certain number of allotted candies that they can choose out of the stash themselves.
Sharing is Caring
Tell your child to take their candy to school to share with their friends during a classroom show and tell. This will immediately deplete their stash, and reinforce the importance of sharing with others. You can have them sort out a particular pile that they will take to share, and you can speak with their teacher to ensure they are able to spot and stop any gorging that should occur during school hours.
This Halloween can be just as fun as the last and healthier than any before. Reinforce proper eating habits and teach your kids about charity and sharing this October for a Halloween your kids won’t forget!