Halloween kicks off the string of seasonal holidays where food imbalance and overindulgence is at an all-time high. Make this Halloween more about the tricks and treasures than the sweet treats, and discuss openly the importance of making healthy food choices. Following are 10 easy tips to implement during the holiday season, starting with Halloween!
- Prepare an extra-nutritious dinner of a good lean protein source, plenty of fresh vegetables and whole grains for you and your family. Fill up on healthy foods before hitting the streets to trick-or-treat, avoiding the urge to consume far too much sugar.
- If you will be handing out candy to your neighbors, choose a brand like Unreal to give rather than the traditional Hershey’s. Unreal makes all sorts of delicious candy varieties that are every bit as tasty as other brands without all of the chemicals and preservatives. “No artificial stuff, grass-fed dairy, no GMO’s, gluten free, no corn syrup, traceable cacao.” Check out their website and pick some up at your local grocer.
- Pillow cases are for pillows- prepare your kids with smaller treat collectors, then feel okay about them filling it 75% full.
- Think outside the raisin box. Instead of candy (or raisins) hand out tricks and toys! Visit Archie McPhee’s or a Dollar Store for stickers, erasers, bubbles, removable tattoos, pencils, bouncy balls or any other small toys you can creatively come up with. This is sure to add some fun to the night without contributing to the $2 billion in candy sales estimated for this Halloween. Eeeek! Now that’s scary!
- Power trick-or-treat. Incorporate a little physical activity to balance out the sugar consumption and tucker out the kiddies in time to hit the hay. Take the long way, take a few laps around the block or race from house to house.
- Bring a water bottle and drink while you’re gallivanting around. This will also curb the appetite for snacking.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Let your children choose 5 candies to consume when they get home, then save the rest to disperse as treats for good behavior or dessert. Avoid the inevitable begging for the candy by hiding it away in a closet and only bringing it out for trade or treat time.
- Donate extra candy. Many doctors and dentist offices set up donation centers to turn in excessive candy. Teach children the importance of giving when they have plenty to share.
- Create an exchange program. 10 pieces of candy for a toy they’ve been wanting or a fun, recreational outing. Let them use the candy as currency for healthier treats.
- Skip the candy and trick-or-treating all together. Let your kids dress up and take the to buy a special toy or go to a fun community event.
And above all else, the bonus #11… Set an example for your children, coworkers, family etc. Limit your consumption of sweets and practice your healthy lifestyle habits throughout all of the fun events!
Besides candy, what is your favorite part about Halloween?