Trick O’ Treat – Halloween is renowned for its chocolate-covered nougats that unfailingly wedge their way into the deep recesses of children’s molars, the rock-hard, tooth crushing gumballs and—of course—the lavish, sugary cupcakes, caramel popcorn balls and taffy apples.
Why not, we dare suggest, offer the little hobgoblins healthy treats? What a scare! Mini boxes of raisins, sugar-free gum, juice boxes, dried fruit or trail mix packages or fruit leathers come readily to mind.
If healthier edible treats are not handy, consider inedible goodies that are as delightfully festive as any chocolate bar: glow sticks, crayons and coloring books, bubble makers and vampire teeth!
To get trick-or-treaters ready for the big evening, fill them up with a healthy meal before letting them loose into candy heaven. They’ll feel less of an urge to snack while out gathering goodies!
The Party – Halloween is incomplete without a social gathering served up with decadent morsels. Take a quick peek online and find an array of decorative veggie and fruit party platters to replace the oodles of sugary ones: mummy toast, apple fangs and deviled eggs dressed with plastic spiders. Instead of soda, try low-fat milk or Halloween punch made from sparkling water and 100% fruit juice.
Jump Around! Make Halloween extra healthy by incorporating plenty of physical activities throughout the fun-filled day. The American Heart Association suggests a “zombie dance party,” “pumpkin toss” and “three-legged monster race.”
Sugar Overload – What do you do with the pounds of candy your little trick-or-treaters hauled in? The American Heart Association has a score of ideas:
- Pair every chocolatey snack your child asks for with a healthy one, like an apple or clementine.
- Candy buy-back program—you offer tokens for candy so they can trade them in for fun activities, like a day at the museum or playground.
- Donate extra candy to homeless shelters or care packages for overseas troops.
Post-Halloween Discussion – The celebrations, frights and tastes of Halloween can be a tantalizing feast for your little trick-or-treaters’ senses! Take this once-a-year opportunity, when their eyes are glued to the candy lottery they’ve just won, to teach them about smart eating, from balance to moderation.
The American Heart Association suggests you can even dress up your little ghouls in their Halloween best and head the whole family out for a night at the movies. You’ll still participate in the festivities while avoiding the junk food!
Bonus: Here's a special, spooky treat for all to enjoy—a haunted Halloween word search! Can you find all 12 frightening faves?