Candy reigns supreme on Halloween. Little trick-or-treaters will be knocking on doors soon to see what treats they find. It is estimated that children accumulate between 3,500 and 7,000 calories of treats in one night of trick-or-treating. Halloween should be fun for the children but there are things you can do to make it healthier for them.
- Serve a healthy meal before the kids leave the house such as homemade fish sticks, or spaghetti. You can make English muffin mini-pizzas and let your kids decorate with using cut-up veggies, or apples with low -fat caramel dip.
- If kids are full before they go trick-or-treating, then they may eat fewer pieces of candy afterward.
- Plan to walk to each house instead of drive. This can create bonding time with your kids while also increasing daily exercise.
- Make healthy snacks for when you and your kids return home. Some healthy treats to offer are animal crackers, pretzels, popcorn, popcorn balls, granola bars, fruit, trail mix, whole- grain cheddar cheese crackers.
- Have the children divide their candy into two piles: the candy they want to eat and the candy they don’t.
- Donate the candy they don’t want to a local charity
There is nothing wrong with letting them eat candy on Halloween night as long as you limit the amount. A little goes a long way and it’s best to allow kids to have no more than 1-3 pieces of candy a day, starting with lunch at school, as an afternoon snack, or after dinner, making it a regular part of meals. The rest of the candy can go in the freezer so that it is out of sight and out of mind.
No Candy Trick-or-Treat Alternatives:
- Finger puppets
- Glow sticks
- Spider Rings
- Playing cards
- Mini Play-Doh
Candy alternatives can be a great option for children who have food allergies.
The fun part of Halloween is dressing in costume, spending time with family and friends and getting surprise treats. Trick or treating is a fun family tradition but try something different this year to make it healthier for the “little ghosts and goblins.”