When we think about Halloween ideas, the phrase healthy Halloween sounds kind of like an oxymoron, no? Each year, no matter how much or little time we spend trick-or-treating on Halloween, my kids wind up with enough candy to feed a small nation, which is anything but healthy. Last year was fantastic because our elementary school collected candy to donate to Island Harvest, so my kids were brought half of their collection to donate. (Note that our school collected over 300 pounds of candy…). In our house, we do have rules regarding eating the candy – each kid is allowed to eat one piece per day. Shortly after Halloween, they wind up forgetting about the stash strategically placed in a cabinet out of their reach and only occasionally ask for it.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has provided us with some creative tips for a healthy Halloween.
- Trick or post-dinner treat— Trick or treat after eating a wholesome dinner. Children who are full may be less likely to snack on the treats they accumulate.
- Pillow cases are for pillows — give the kids smaller treat containers like recycled grocery bags or small, plastic jack o’ lanterns so they won’t bring home too many sweets. Use your pillow cases to create ghostly costumes instead.
- Give ‘em treasures for treats — Hand out boxes of crayons, stickers, colored pencils, erasers, Halloween tattoos (the removable kind!), or rubber spiders!
- Patrol those sweets — The best way to limit the amount of candy your children eat is to limit the number of treats they CAN eat. After inspecting all treats to make sure they’re safe, set a limit on how many they can keep. Then remind them to eat in moderation so they last longer (wink, wink). Store the bag in a high but public place so you won’t be tempted to snack on the candy either!
What are ways your family tries to have a healthy Halloween? Leave your answers in the comments!
About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices and communities. For more information please visit: HealthierGeneration.org.