Health Blog

Tips to “Healthify” Your Halloween

Halloween is a fun day for children. They wear costumes, go through haunted houses, and trick-or-treat for candy. By the night’s end, your children most likely have a bucket or pillowcase full of candy that they are just itching to tear into (or have already begun eating on the way home).

As a parent, you realize that overloading on candy is not the best option for your children, but you might often feel trapped by the notion that Halloween revolves around delicious, sweet confections. And, of course, adults are not immune to Halloween snacking either.

But Halloween can be a fun, festive, AND healthy holiday! Avoid the sugar hangover this year and keep in the spirit of things with these simple ways to make your Halloween just a little bit healthier.

  • Bake homemade tasty treats. Rather than candy and unhealthy refined sugars, think of creative ways to incorporate Halloween into your yummy, healthy treats. For example:
    • Turn an average green apple into a goblin! Add a peanut butter mouth, a triangle of cheese for its tongue, and toasted pumpkin seeds for teeth.
    • Use homemade or storebought granola to make yogurt cups topped with fruit, raisins, nuts, or pretzels to resemble spooky creatures.
    • Roast veggies Halloween style, for instance, sweet potato jack-o-lanterns, beetroot witch’s hats, and spooky potato ghosts.
    • Turn a frozen banana on a stick into a mummy! Apply stripes of yogurt and add two dots for the eyes.
    • Top your go-to chicken and cheese quesadilla with spooky veggie faces.
    • Use bat-shaped cookie cutters on pita bread and pair them with hummus dip.
  • Let Fall be your guide. Whether you go apple picking, pick up a pumpkin to carve at a local orchard or pumpkin patch, or hit the corn maze, try filling your days with all the goodies and activities that Fall in the Capital Region has to offer. Check it out here.
  • Fill up on healthy food before trick-or-treating. What kid (or adult…) doesn’t want to eat their favorite candy as soon as it goes into their treat-or-treat bag? As tempting as it is, plan ahead. Having a healthy meal BEFORE you hit the streets can help reduce the temptation to snack or overindulge while walking around because you’ll already be full. Try putting together a Turkey Chili in the slow cooker the morning of Halloween, and it’ll be ready before it’s time to go. Or if you want to make something where people can help themselves as they get hungry, make a [spooky] charcuterie board! Be sure to load up on slices of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and meats alongside some rubber spiders and skeleton bones. When you fuel up on healthy food, your kids (and you) are less likely to overdo it on the candy.
  • Mix up what you give out. It’s okay, be that house. Start a new tradition, and don’t pass out candy. Instead, pass out Halloween-themed erasers, stickers, fake tattoos, glow sticks, and bubbles. Or, if you still want to pass out food, try healthier snacks like juice boxes, string cheese, fruit strips, trail mix, or granola.
  • Get active. Make Halloween a fun family activity. Walk instead of driving from house to house and take the long way if possible! Set a goal of how many houses or streets to visit and see who can get the most. Remember to bring water and a flashlight (especially since it gets pretty dark early in the Capital Region) and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
  • Steer clear of the pillowcase! If your child has a smaller bag for trick-or-treating, they can’t carry as much candy. Plus, if you encourage your kids to only take one piece of candy from each house, they’ll be able to visit more homes.
  • A little goes a long way. Remember, moderation is key. Develop a rationing system that works for your family. Consider setting aside a few of your child’s favorites and managing the stash yourself. Allot a few candies for each night in the coming week.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Get rid of leftover candy you didn’t hand out ASAP. Take the extras to work, donate them to a shelter, or throw them out. This way, you and your children won’t have devilishly unhealthy (but delicious) snack options staring you in the face. The sooner you return to regular habits, the sooner you can prepare for the next major holiday…Thanksgiving.

With some planning and creativity, your Halloween celebration can involve something other than copious amounts of candy, sugar overload, and super stimulation. It can be fun AND healthy, too.

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