Halloween is this week and according to the National Retail Federation Americans are projected to spend over $5 billion on Halloween goodies, decorations and costumes. Even though it is a one-day event, you can rein things in if you have little ones, and not let the focus be on candy and sugar, especially if you want the kids to sleep well tonight. Here are a few tips for a healthier Halloween.
Safety first for healthy trick-or-treating:
- Reflective tape on costumes so that they can be seen at night
- Go in groups only – not solo
- Good-fitting costumes to prevent tripping or falling
Have an at-home party:
- Play fun Halloween games, like pin-the-tail on the pumpkin
- Have a costume parade with the neighborhood kids
- Provide health munchies like raw veggies with dip, whole-grain English muffins pizzas, orange-colored fresh fruit salad, and orange-colored peach and mango fruit smoothies
Fun non-food items for trick-or-treaters:
- Fun stickers
- Colorful pencil, crayons and markers
- Marbles and small rubber balls
Now if you are going to give out candy to trick-or-treaters, give out what you don’t like and buy a small amount so that you are not left with leftovers. If you do end up with extra candy, freeze it and dole it out throughout the year. Crush or cut it up, put it into bags and freeze, and then add candy pieces later to brownie, cake or cookie batter.
Let Halloween become a fun family tradition with other activities. When they were young my kids would decorate special placemats for Halloween dinner. Our menus would include orange-colored foods -pumpkin biscuits, stuffed orange bell peppers and a fruit salad with papaya, oranges and mango. The focus was off the collection of candy.