Healthier Halloween Ideas
All of the sugary Halloween festivities can be frightening for parents trying to teach their kids healthy habits. But Halloween doesn’t have to be a dreaded time of year for health-conscious parents.
You can set a good example by choosing healthier trick-or-treat goodies to hand out for Halloween. Try to include fruit, nuts, or whole grains in snacks to maximize nutrition, or choose non-food treats.
Healthier trick-or-treat ideas
- Raisins (or other dried fruit)
- Fruit leather (or any fruit snack with fruit or fruit puree as the first ingredient)
- Small apple
- Small orange
- Apple sauce—Materne GoGo Squeeze (without added sugar)
- Animal crackers (lower in sugar than candy)
- Goldfish Baked Grahams (individual packets—first ingredient is whole wheat flour)
- Granola bars—Quaker chewy (with whole grain as first ingredient)
- Individual peanut butter
- Nuts (keep in mind nut allergies and have a nut-free alternative)
- Wax lips
- Glow sticks
- Plastic rings
- Sticky eyes
The kids are returning home with HUGE bags of candy—now what?!?!
Strategies to keep kids from eating all of their candy
- Make sure your kids have a healthy, filling meal before they go out trick-or-treating. Even consider organizing a neighborhood chili or soup feast.
- Let your kids eat any candy they want the night of Halloween, then have them pick 5-10 treats that they will eat over the next week.
- Always schedule when they will eat their candy (with lunch, between lunch and dinner, etc. This will keep them grazing throughout the day).
- “Buy Back” the rest of the candy. After they choose 5-10 pieces of candy, “buy back” the rest and replace with a fun activity—night at the movies, sleep over with friends, a new book)
- If your kids are younger, try having a “Candy Fairy.” Have your child put their candy in a designated place before they go to sleep and replace it with a toy.
If you’re organizing a Halloween party, it doesn’t have to include only sugary snacks to be a success.
Healthier Party Ideas
- Serve only one or two of your favorite sugary snacks, like cupcakes.
- Include activities that take the focus off food: costume parades, making paper plate masks, bobbing for apples.
- Snack ideas:
- Apple cider instead of soda
- Chocolate covered almonds
- Air-popped popcorn or kettle corn
- Pumpkin seeds
- “Ghost bananas”—1/4 banana with Cheerios for eyes and mouth
- “Eerie eyeballs”—layer dried apple, dried apricot, and raisins
- “Freaky finger”—1/2 string cheese, light cream cheese, green bell pepper
- Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (pumpkin is first ingredient—vitamin A)
Visit Jonnell’s blog from last year for more Healthy Halloween ideas - Halloween Fun and Treats