Have a HEALTHY Halloween
October 8, 2012
October 8, 2012
So you’re working your butt off (literally) working out to Shaun T and Insanity or maybe you’re bringing it with Tony Horton and P90X and now comes Halloween! How do you make Halloween safe for your diet or better yet lead by example with your kids and teach them healthier habits?
Halloween is time for fun, but also a time when kids overindulge in unhealthy candy and sweets. To make sure your kids have a healthy Halloween, offer them attractive alternatives to collecting and eating as many sweets as they can. By planning carefully and focusing on good food choices, as well as using some clever tactics to keep the kids’ attention away from sugar-filled treats, you can give your children a healthy Halloween they will never forget.
Avoid letting your children go out to collect treats when they are hungry. Make sure they eat a full meal before the start of any Halloween activities. This will reduce the amount of sweets they indulge in later. They won’t even realize they are eating less candy and junk food than they would otherwise. Another somewhat sneaky tactic is to hand out small bags to the kids for collecting the candy. This prevents them from bringing home a huge amount of sweets and stashing it away to eat at their leisure.
Make sure you let your children obtain treats only from neighbors in your area. Try to organize your neighbors before the holiday and have everyone commit themselves to providing healthier snacks for the kids, instead of the usual candy and sugar-filled sweets. Here are some good alternatives that the kids will enjoy:
- Granola Bars
- Cheese and Cracker Packs
- Sugar Free Gum
- Cheddar Cheese rolled up to resemble a pumpkin
- Edible eyes with carrot and cream cheese
- Microwave popcorn
- Sugar-free snack pack pudding
If you decide to give out candy, choose bite-sized bars that have less fat and calories than the standard-sized versions. You can also distribute dark chocolate bars, which are somewhat more nutritious than milk chocolate.
To keep your kid’s focus away from eating sweets, join with some of your neighbors and hand out non-food treats. These little gifts will help prevent the kids becoming preoccupied with eating candy, while keeping them happy and entertained at the same time. Some good ideas for this type of treat include:
- Rubber eyeballs
- Personalized coloring books
- Temporary tattoos
Make sure you don’t give very small items to children under the age of three. You can also give kids gifts that are fun and help them stay active, such as:
- Jump rope
- Punching bag
Having a Halloween party at home can keep kids busy and entertained as well as helping them burn off any extra calories they got from eating sweets. Plan some fun games and activities, such as a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt, making jack o’ lanterns, constructing a haunted house walk-through, and telling ghost stories
When Halloween is over and the kids want to indulge in the sweets they have gathered, try to get them to eat in moderation by reminding them that the less they eat now, the more they will have for later. Also, encourage them to split some of the candy with friends, so that that they learn to share. You can even offer to buy the sweets by giving them a small amount of money in exchange for turning the candy over to you. Making sure your kids have a fun and healthy Halloween takes a lot of dedication and effort, but the reward of healthier children with unforgettable memories of this unique holiday makes it all worthwhile.