It may sound like an oxymoron, but it is possible for your kids to enjoy Halloween — and all the candy and sweets that come with it — in moderation. Try these simple, healthy tricks and treats to get your family through this sugar-heavy holiday.
Tip 1: Indulge in Healthy Halloween Treats
Ensure your child doesn’t stuff herself silly while trick-or-treating by filling her up with nutritious, hearty, Halloween snacks before she heads out. Our favorites include: snack o’ lantern fruit cups from Seeded at the Table; cheesy spiders and ghost toasts from Yummy Sprout; and mummy dogs.
Looking for more tasty Halloween treats, perfect for playdates or spook-tacular parties? Try banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins.
Directions: Peel bananas and cut in half length-wise with a knife. Press a chocolate chip point-side down into the banana to create a mouth and use two drops of black icing for the eyes.
6 clementine fruits
1 stalk of celery
Directions: Chop the celery into approximately ½-inch pieces. Peel each clementine. For the stem, add the celery to the top of clementine by pushing it into the center of the fruit.
Tip 2: Emphasize Candy-free Activities
Not every Halloween event needs to focus on food. Get your kids involved in holiday-themed activities that have nothing to do with candy. Bonus points if you can get them moving! Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Gather the neighborhood kids for a daytime parade around the block that will let them show off their costumes. For younger kids, keep routes short and avoid busy streets. Circling a local park is a great option. Little ones will love getting dressed up and seeing their friends in costume.
Break out the construction paper and safety scissors! Halloween calls for some not-so-spooky crafts. Try one (or more) of these 13 Halloween crafts perfect for younger children. Our favs include the masking mummy tape, shape witch and candy corn collage.
If you want to skip the sharp tools, try decorating a pumpkin with paint, markers, glue and glitter. It might get a little messy, but your child’s masterpiece will last longer than a carved pumpkin.
Spooky Story Time
Pick up some Halloween books for a spooky (or spook-free) story time at your local library or bookstore. Try these great books for toddlers and young children: Mouse’s First Halloween, Five Little Pumpkins and My First Halloween. For preschoolers and kindergarteners, read Room on the Broom and The Spooky Wheels on the Bus.
Kids can’t resist a dance party, so clear some space where little ones can bust their best moves to a Halloween-inspired playlist. In addition to favorites like “Monster Mash” and “Thriller”, add these kid-friendly Halloween songs to your music library. This is also a great way to help kids “get the wiggles out” after a sweet treat.
Tip 3: Divide and Conquer the Candy
No parent wants to deny their kids all of the candy, so moderation is key. Start by making sure your child’s trick-or-treat bag is sized appropriately. No need for pillow cases full of candy — stick with a reasonably sized carrier or basket. Remember: They can’t take candy that they don’t have room for.
Once home, divide candy from your child’s trick-or-treat haul in half. Let your little one choose his favorites, and portion the candy so he gets a few pieces each day over the next week or two. What to do with the other half? Donate it! Check to see if any local dentists participate in the Halloween Candy Buyback program. Kids can trade their candy in for small prizes, like toothbrushes, toys and stickers, and the donated candy will be sent to the troops. Win-win!