Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you should throw out all your normal rules about healthy eating and binge on delicious bite-size treats. Here are some tricks to keep in mind for a healthier Halloween for you and your family:
1. Don’t Buy Treats You Actually Like
If you buy treats that don’t appeal to you, then you won’t be tempted to snack on them before you give them out to trick-or-treaters. If you don’t particularly enjoy coconut, then buy Almond Joys to hand out.
2. Don’t Buy Treats Too Early
Think about it: why do you think grocery stores have Halloween candy sales starting early in October? Because they know you’ll buy the candy early because it’s on sale, eat it, then go and buy some more! Don’t fall for this tempting trap!
3. Give Out “Healthier Treats”
But don’t go too crazy. Don’t be the one mom on the block who gives away boxes of raisins — unless you like crushing little kid’s dreams. Go for chocolate covered raisins! Dark chocolate covered almonds are another fairly healthy snack that kids will actually eat. Beware of kid’s allergies to nuts, though. Perhaps ask your trick-or-treaters or their supervising adult whether they are allergic. Have a back-up snack for those kids so they don’t feel left out. Don’t bother making anything special to hand out, either. Most parents would not feel comfortable allowing their kid to eat anything in their Halloween pile that hasn’t been pre-packaged and from a store.
4. Give Out Non-Food Treats
If you just can’t bear to contribute to tooth decay and child obesity by giving out traditional sweet treats, don’t worry. Kids will also appreciate non-food items from the dollar store, like mini yo-yo’s, small flashlights, notepads or even sugar-free gum.
For Your Kids
1. Hide Your Stash Before the Big Day
This is kind of a no-brainer if your kid has ever tried to take an unauthorized dip out of the cookie car. Remember, if they don’t know where it is, they can’t eat it!
2. Set Rules with Your Kids about Candy-Eating
Do not let your kids gorge on all of the candy they got in one night! Have them put appropriate amounts of candy into seven ziplock bags and parsel the treats out throughout the week. And ask them to please make the wise decision of eating nutritional foods before digging into their daily stash (ie. no fun-size snickers bar for breakfast!). You can take any extra candy to work — because adults should have greater self-control, right? Better yet, take the extra candy to a soup kitchen.
3. Make or Buy Halloween Treats for Your Kids
Roasted pumpkin seeds, popcorn, dried fruit, dark chocolate, etc. Anything that isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill Halloween candy, aka fat covered in fat. If they fill themselves up on healthier, but equally tempting, options, then they won’t have room for the unhealthy stuff. Hopefully.
4. Remember to Let Loose a Little
With all this said, remember that Halloween only comes around once a year and piles of candy is what your little ones dream about until the day it finally comes. Let them (and yourself) indulge — within moderation, of course.