Halloween is a fun and exciting time for all. What is there not to like? Halloween parties, the decorations, costumes, and of course, trick or treating. However, the one downside to Halloween is the candy craze that happens as your little trick or treaters excitedly scurry door to door to obtain delicious treats. Unfortunately, most of the loot will not be of the healthy variety. The same goes for party dwellers, as Halloween candy is typically on the menu. Because candy and Halloween go hand in hand, one would think that this is not the healthiest holiday, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to balance the scales and make your Halloween a healthier one. Luckily, we have some helpful Halloween health tips that can help you keep everything in balance.
For the Home Dwellers
If you’re the type to stay inside on Halloween, opting to hand out treats to every trick or treater that comes to your home, there are ways to keep this Halloween healthy. If you decide to hand out treats, there are now alternatives available. Halloween candy that is healthier does exist now, and many of them are suited for those with sensitives. Organic, gluten-free, vegan, and certified nut-free candy are available online and at your local health food store. You can also offer healthier treats such as sugar-free gum, juice boxes, fruit strips, squeezable yogurt, and snacks-sized packages of seeds, pretzels, or graham crackers.
In addition to treats, you could also offer non-edible items if the idea of handing out food doesn’t sit well with you. While you should be careful not to give a tiny child an item that could be a choking hazard, there are a plethora of choices available if you want to hand out non-perishable items. Some non-edible items you can offer this year include:
• Toy cars
• Glider airplanes
• Bouncy balls
• Light up jewelry
• Wind-up toys
• Mini plush toys
• Temporary tattoos
• Vampire’s teeth
• Spider rings
• Coloring books
For the Trick or Treater
• Leave the car at home and walk house to house. Walking, getting exercise together can be a fun family activity, and it can help you and your children to get moving. Exercise is required for good health, so walking this Halloween around your neighborhood is an excellent and fun way to fulfill your exercise requirement. Just make sure you bring a flashlight and wear comfortable shoes.
• Kids are going to become tempted to eat their loot as they trick or treat, and if their tummies are empty, the temptation may be impossible to resist. So to help prevent the temptation to snack, make sure your children have a healthy meal before trick or treating. Having a full tummy means they are less likely to snack on their candy.
• In case your child does get hungry while out trick or treating, make sure you have some healthy snacks and water available. There’s often a lot of walking involved on Halloween, so it’s no surprise that someone would get hungry while they are out trick or treating. So come prepared just in case hunger strikes. Doing so can also help prevent your children from snacking on candy while you are out.
• While the pillowcase method is an easy and convenient way to go, the size can help entice a child to try to get more candy than they need, or you want. So instead of sending your child out with a pillowcase, give them a smaller bag or container. The smaller size will help make it look like they got a good amount of loot from their efforts, instead of tricking them into thinking that they need more with the pillowcase method.
• Ensure that you check your children’s Halloween candy thoroughly before they consume it, especially if they have life-threatening allergies. Throw out anything that doesn’t have its ingredients listed or contains questionable ingredients. Also, don’t forget to check expiration dates and ensure that the packaging has not been tampered with.
For the Party Host
• For party activities, make sure you incorporate healthy elements into the games. For instance, you can dress up oranges as a Jack-O-Lantern, or play bobbing for apples. If you decide to have a piñata, fill it with healthy Halloween candy, healthy snacks, and even some non-edible items. Also, play games that can keep everyone moving and on their feet. They will be having so much fun they won’t realize they are exercising!
• Your guests are going to get thirsty, so make sure you have water and healthy drinks on hand. Avoid soda and sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, offer organic sparkling apple cider, kombucha, unsweetened tea, or 100% juice. If you plan on serving alcohol, aim on having organic hard ciders, organic beer, organic wine, spiked kombucha, or organic hard liquor on hand.
• There are plenty of ways to dress up Halloween food that is healthy and organic. Online there is plenty of inspiration to help you dress up your Halloween snacks. For example, you can create a veggie skeleton, carrot witch fingers, banana peanut butter eyeballs, banana ghosts, Mummy mini-pizza toast, cheese witch brooms, candy corn colored parfaits, and apple monster mouths.