What we do for Halloween: Healthy & Happy Tips for an amazing Night of tricks & treats
Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re in full swing Halloween mode!
Halloween is such a great night of getting dressed up, walking the neighbourhood, running into friends, and sheer childhood excitement. The huge bags of candy that come home is where the challenges can arise.
It’s not Halloween candy specifically that is the problem, it’s that candy, sugar, junk food and juice are the norm in many social activities, school fundraisers and events. They’re too often used as a reward, entertainment and a sign of our love! No wonder it becomes something our kids beg for and expect at every event!
Healthier Halloween Alternatives
Make healthier snacks like these Chocolate peanut butter fat bombs,
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Melt together, pour into molds, freeze and then put in the fridge.
Laraballs or these Nut Free Muffins
They are still a treat, but they have more protein and healthy fats which help to keep the blood sugar balanced, and they don’t have the added sugar, preservative, and food dye that candies do.
So what do we do for Halloween?
- Support the immune system so the excess sugar and excitement doesn’t lead to sickness.Focus on good sleep, healthy/hearty meals (especially right before trick or treating!), thorough hand washing, and nutritional supplements as prescribed by your Naturopathic Doctor to stay healthy.
- Consider giving out non-candy items. Some ideas include bouncy balls, playdough, swim passes, glow sticks, fancy pencils, animal erasers, and bubbles. There are lots of good ideas online that also allow kids with allergies to join in on the fun!
- Encourage mindful eating. Talk about sugar and how it makes us feel! While I don’t encourage calorie counting in kids, it’s helpful for adults to remember that these candies typically have several teaspoons of sugar and are often in the realm of 60-100 calories. The simple sugars in the candies cause blood sugar to rise quickly, and drop quickly. That quick drop can often cause grumpiness, emotional lability, energy crashes, and more sugar cravings. There are ways to mitigate this, and if it’s something you’re seeing more regularly (in yourself or your kids!) it’s time to see your Naturopathic Doctor.
- Let your kids enjoy some of their favourite candies, then discuss donating the rest or trading for money, an excursion, or a gift. Some families have a magical ‘Switch Witch’ who comes and leaves a toy in exchange for candy. Candy is addictive and kids get obsessed over it which can lead to large power struggles. Coming up with a solution to get some of it out the door quickly can make a big difference for everyone’s mental well-being! (Yes, out the door! :)
- Stay well hydrated and brush those teeth well!
- When you look back on the night with your kids highlight the fun, fresh air, costumes and community experience – don’t make a big deal about the candy!