There’s more to fear on Halloween then just ghosts and goblins….there’s CANDY! Yes, the major influx of sugar and empty calories worries most parents. The average trick-or-treating kid can consume around three cups of sugar (or about 7,000 calories of candy) on Halloween. But don’t dismay, we have 10 tips to help you enjoy a Happy and Healthy Halloween.
1. Fill up before trick-or-treating.
Before heading out the door, try to get them to sit down (we know this could be hard) for a nutritious dinner, or at the very least, a fruit plate and a cup of yogurt. This can curb their appetites for the rest of the evening, somewhat, and maybe they’ll be happy with a few little chocolates, not 15.
2. Ditch the monster size candy bag.
Choose or make a smaller collection container for your child (avoid the pillow case method). Encourage the kids to take only one piece of candy from each house, that way they’ll be able to visit more houses in the neighborhood and want to walk more.
3. Get moving.
Speaking of walking, get some exercise by making Halloween a fun family activity. Walk instead of driving kids house to house. You can even set a goal of how many houses or streets that your family wants to hit. Be sure to bring a bottle of water, a flashlight and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
4. Make a plan for the candy.
On Halloween night, select a few candies (after they’ve been inspected) that your kids can have, then put the bag in the pantry. You can then dole out one or two treats at a time in the days to follow, and try to combine with a healthy snack or meal.
5. Donate the excess treats.
Of course, your children do not need to eat the entire 2 lbs of candy that they collect on Halloween. Look for a candy donation or buy-back event in your area. This year TNT will be collecting Candy for a Cause to go to the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. All packaged candy and snacks are welcome and will help spread smiles on children’s faces. Donations will be excepted until November 7th at TNT, located at 10400 Mallard Creek Church Road, Suite 340, Charlotte, NC 28262. Other options include, Operation Gratitude, who collects candy donations to send to our troops and various buy-back events (list available on Charlotte on the Cheap).
6. Change it up.
On Halloween night, don’t think that the treats need to packed with sugar and fat. Trick-or-treaters like non-food goodies, too. Look in the party aisle of your favorite discount store for treats like glow stick necklaces or bracelets, spider rings, stickers, decorative pencils, stamps, notepads, erasers, balloons, play tattoos, game cards and more. Even better are the treats that encourage kids to be physically active, like bouncy balls, Frisbees, jump ropes, hacky sacks, and sidewalk chalk.
7. Get creative with it.
Set up on your front lawn with arts-and-crafts activities like face painting and pumpkin decorating. You never know, the neighborhood kids may end up liking your home more than any other in the neighborhood on Halloween night.
8. Plan a party focused more on fun and less on food.
Get the kids (and even the grownups) moving with party activities like dunking for apples, a costume/dance contest, a pumpkin hunt (hide miniature pumpkins throughout the yard), pin the bone on the skeleton, or toilet paper mummy race. A good old game of Halloween hide and seek can be fun too, where someone dresses like to the boogie man and everyone runs to hide. Scattered thoughts of a crafty mom has a lot of great Halloween party game ideas with photos, too.
9. Make healthy Halloween treats together.
It doesn’t have to be all about the candy. Get together with the family and have fun making healthy Halloween treats like boonanas (bananas decorated like ghosts), roasted pumpkin seeds, or pretzel and string cheese witches’ brooms. For more ideas and recipes check out activekids.com or everydayhealth.com.
10. Lighten up.
It’s alright to allow for some junk now and then. We’re certainly not saying to let kids load up on the bad stuff but it may not be good to restrict it completely, either. Of course, everyone has their own dietary restrictions, so if possible, lighten up and occasionally allow for a sweet treat.
TNT wishes you and your family a Healthy and Happy Halloween!
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