What do you think of when you think of Halloween? Typically we associate things like pumpkins, haunted houses, costumes, and spooky decorations! But we all know what it comes down to on October 31st... candy. And lots of it. Of course sugary treats are fine in small doses, but a holiday whose main event is collecting as much candy as possible, is bound to yield monstrous amounts of junk food to be eaten over the following weeks. We're interested in shifting the focus this spooky season - from candy craze to healthy Halloween! We are not suggesting trading in all your chocolate bars for celery sticks, but rather finding fun alternatives that will keep your kids happy AND healthy this Halloween.
Pumpkins are a classic part of Halloween. Their versatility creates so many options for festive fun; you can carve, eat, and decorate with them! Did you know that pumpkins are a nutrient-dense food with high levels of potassium and antioxidants? Their edible seeds are also packed with magnesium, calcium, and healthy oils. Consider using pumpkin in a smoothie, casserole, salad or curry, or try roasting the seeds for a healthy snack. Check out the recipe below for a fun Halloween snack!
Incorporate more movement into your Halloween routine! If your family goes Trick-or-Treating together, spice up your route with a little movement game. Have everyone take turns calling out silly ways to get to the next house. For example, "Everyone walk to the next house like a GIANT!" Then, hop like a frog! Tip-toe like a ballerina! Wobble like a skeleton! ...you get the idea!
Make healthy treats available on Halloween so that kids will be less inclined to fill up solely on sugar. Things like toasted pumpkin seeds, popcorn, trail mix, and fruit are great alternatives that will balance out all of the candy. Be sure to have a hearty supper before heading out to trick-or-treat, so that everyone's bodies get the nutrients they need before the sugar rush.
If you're looking for a more drastic switch, you can trade Trick-or-Treating for a trip to your local pumpkin patch or corn maze. Go see a spooky movie at your local theater. Make Halloween treats at home and distribute them to the firefighters, nurses, and other folks working through the holiday in your community. Or, try hosting a community event that focuses on fun activities for the kids. You can have candy present, but shifting the attention to festivities is a sure way to decrease sugar intake, and encourage movement and socialization!
Introduce activities with healthy foods. Decorate peeled oranges like Jack-O-Lanterns, bob for apples, or try some of these festive, healthy recipes!
Do you have other ideas for a healthy Halloween?? Comment below and tell us what you're doing this year to make your spooky season a little more healthy!