As Halloween creeps ever closer, it’s scary how you can’t avoid all of the candy displays set up in the front of every grocery store.
I’ve yet to see one set up with healthier alternatives such as raisins, nuts and fun toys. That’s probably because candy is viewed as a cheap profit center. So, the pressure is on us to buy, buy, buy!
Are you a parent with the resolve to make Halloween healthier? If so, we’ve got a few simple tips for you.
- Size counts: Arm your little ones with smaller buckets, and tell them “more is less.” Tell them that even if they’re encouraged to take a bunch of candy, if they take just one or two pieces they’ll earn “better karma” – by leaving more for others.
- Size limit: Another way of getting kids to limit their take at each stop is to adhere to the rule: once the bucket or container is full, it’s time to go home.
- Good night: Once your kids return home let them enjoy their candy haul and other treats (hopefully they’ll collect some non-food toys – that’s what you’re planning on handing out, right?). Urge them to sort and trade with their siblings and friends—but just for the day. Then be sure the leftovers get donated or discarded.
- Divvy it up: My friend’s Mom used to pack one piece of leftover Halloween candy in her lunch for the rest of the month—it was fun to see what she’d get. After a while my friend would get tired of it and share with me (it’s not very good anyway!)
Have a Healthier Halloween Party with these sweet and savory snacks:
- Gingerbread men: Decorate as skeletons or ghosts with white frosting!
- Roasted pumpkin seeds (lightly salt before roasting)
- Chunks of pineapple with “light” caramel dip
- Yogurt dip for chunks of fruit and veggies
- Popcorn balls packed with dried cranberries and chopped walnuts
- Sandwich cutouts! Make with Halloween cookie cutters. I love mini turkey and chees or natural peanut butter and all-fruit jelly sandwiches.)
- Low-fat cheese fondue! Serve with chunks of fruit, veggies and pretzels – foods perfect for dipping.
- KitchenDaily.com notes that pumpkin is a great ingredient in both sweet and savory treats. Check out their recipes for your party.
- Low-sugar whole-wheat pumpkin muffins are diabolically delicious!
- Hot apple cider
Stay safe this Halloween!
Susan Burke March is Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator, who as eDiets Chief Nutritionist promotes the dietary health and wellbeing of consumers worldwide.
PHOTO CREDIT ©2013 WENN