A Healthy Halloween? Is it Possible?

At Inspiring Health, we believe in celebrating holidays and having fun, but, this task is not always easy to accomplish.  I know that it can be done by setting loving boundaries to upgrade our favorite treats.  We all need to spend a little time on planning, prepping and providing options for our children and our families.  It’s also our job to educate our children on making healthier choices and to understand why, so they will make informed decisions. 

Before you know it, little ghosts and goblins will be at your door yelling “trick-or-treat!” What will you be handing out? Rather than running out the night before to grab whatever’s left over, plan ahead and consider how you can provide healthier options. Think mini bags of carrots, or pre-bagged apple slices, stickers, pencils, plastic spider rings, etc. 

If you must give out candy, choose 70% dark chocolate or higher.  To get your kids involved (and teach them about “healthier” ideas), take them shopping with you.   Have them choose at the dollar store, or Party City store where they can choose the non-edible novelty items to pass out.

The trick to a good Halloween is to eat a good dinner.  Sending kids out trick-or-treating on a full stomach decreases the chance they will want to binge on their goodies when they get home. We know you are busy, so plan ahead an easy meal, such as a crock pot dinner.  My favorite is Creamy Crockpot Chicken.  It’s chicken, black beans, stewed tomatoes, kale, with organic cream cheese.  Let it cook for about 3 hours and when you arrive home it’s done and ready to eat.   If they have a balanced meal of protein, fat and colorful carbohydrates which equals veggies, they won’t be so inclined to want all the candy. You can even prep the meal the night before, which will leave you more time for family fun!

Setting expectations about how much Halloween candy your children are allowed to eat doesn’t have to be scary.   As a family set some boundaries on the amount of candy they can have.  We allow 2 small pieces of candy that the kids choose.   We also, plan something fun to do after trick or treating.  So we may only go to a few houses because the activity afterwards is what the kids really want to attend.  This way the focus is off of the candy.  

Have food sensitivities like gluten, in your family?  Check out this list of gluten free candy.  Now that doesn’t mean it’s healthy, it just mean it’s gluten free.  It will probably still have refined oils, sugar and chemicals in it.

Speaking of food sensitivities….. check out this Halloween project to support family who deal with food sensitivities during the Halloween celebration.  The Teal Project.  Creating a safer and happier halloween.

Deciding what to do with all of that candy can be challenging. Kids see the candy as “theirs” and we know you don’t want to make it sound like you are taking anything away from them or that you are taking all the fun out of Halloween. Here are a couple of options for getting the candy out of your house. Provide these choices to your children and let them choose:

  • Offer to buy-back the candy: Offer to give your child money (you set the amount—it can be as little as one penny or as much as $.25) for each piece of candy.  Or 1 pound for a dollar.  Just make sure once you buy it back you don’t eat it all.
  • Earn a toy: Give each of them a bucket and have them choose an item that they want to earn, such as a Power Ranger, date night with a special someone, movie etc.  Put a candy item value on it, such as 42 pieces of candy to earn the Power Ranger.
  • Donate the candy.
  • Locate a dentist near you who is participating in “Operation Gratitude”  a program that recycles Halloween candy 
  • Throw it away.  Nobody needs the sugar, dyes, chemicals and refined oils found in candy.  It gives us nothing and takes so much from our bodies.  We call it the anti-nutrient.

Halloween parties at school are lots of fun but they easily become a sugar-fest filled with cupcakes, candies, sodas and juice. We suggest you help plan the Halloween party or provide input to the room moms. Here are some ideas for a party that can be healthy, but still full of Halloween fun: 

  • Suggest that the party focus more on fun activities (games, dancing, etc.) instead of around eating food
  • Request that the party limit the sweet treats to fruits and veggies with dips
  • Ask parents to send healthy snacks to the party, such as baby carrots, popcorn, fruit ka-bobs, cheese cubes, sliced apples with yogurt dip, pretzels with hummus etc.
  • Volunteer to provide healthy alternatives and / or silly non-edible prizes.

There are many ways to celebrate with out eating all the anti-nutrient, or food like products that go along with the festivities.  Planning ahead goes a long way.

Tell us below what you do to create a healthy, happier halloween environment for your kiddos.  Comment below.

Beth Schupanitz, of Inspiring Health is a Registered Nutrition Consultant & Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner.  She helps people like you lose weight and keep it off, have balanced blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and increase energy and vitality – and she makes the process as easy, inexpensive, and pleasant as possible.  

Could the foods your eating be the cause of your gas, bloating or digestive issues?  wondering if you have food sensitivities?  Don’t guess, Test!  Find out if you are sensitive to certain foods with Nutrition Response Testing.  No blood, no needles, non-invasive.  inspiringhealthsolutions.com/nutrition-response-testing

For more information www.inspiringhealthsolutions.com  or call Beth directly 612 804-6675

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