Trick or Treat?
No tricks Here, Halloween Treats Can Be Healthy!
Contributor: Keren Rosenberg
Halloween is a fun holiday for both kids and adults, but can also pose a challenge with the massive amounts of candy that can be consumed. Here are some tips and tricks to have a healthy Halloween.
- Emphasize the non-food related aspects of the holiday, such as parties, decorations, spooky activities, costume contests, and games.
- Serve a healthy meal or snack before trick-or-treating, when sorting through the candy and every time you break out leftover candy.
- Make it a “moving” holiday to help balance the eating. Have a costume parade, a monster dance party, play games like costume tag or bobbing for apples. This will also leave less time for collecting candy.
- Limit the size of the trick-or-treat bag for going door-to-door. Stay away from the pillow case and go for a small gift bag.
- Choose to hand out fun-size candies instead of full-size bars to help them understand portion control.
- Only keep a small amount of the candy out and put the rest in the freezer. This shows how you can still enjoy a special treat without going overboard. You are in control of the candy, the candy isn’t in control of you.
- Show kids that sometimes enough is enough by getting rid of extra candy.
Source: Loyola University Health System, Garry Sigman, MD, director of the pediatric weight management program
- Dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries
- Fruit leathers made with 100% fruit
- Fresh Fruit (bananas, apples, pears)
- Mini 100-percent fruit juice boxes
- Whole-wheat crackers
- Sugar-free gum
- Unsalted pretzels
- Lowfat granola or cereal bars
- Mini water bottles
- Coloring books
- Glow sticks
- Temporary tattoos
- Key chains
- Halloween-themed rings
- Collectable cards
Kids will appreciate non-food alternatives. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children will often choose toys over candy. Just make sure the toys you offer are large enough so they don't pose a choking hazard to smaller children. You can find these at your local dollar store.
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Updated by Laura Reynebeau, UW-GB Dietetic Intern, October, 2018