Halloween for the Health-Conscious

Kids Health, Nutrition, Halloween, healthy nutritional, treats, trick or treating, non-edible treats, organic treats, food choices, cash for candy, FARE, Teal Pumpkin Project, food allergies, tips, safety, tips from town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a kid I loved Halloween. Nothing – I mean nothing, could stop my friends and I from going out to get our sugar fix. That says something since I grew up in northern Canada where there was usually snow on the ground by Halloween and in the very least you planned your costumes around snowsuits. However, now that I’m a parent and have to cull the candy after the haul (and essentially play the bad guy) it makes me uptight. My kids just don’t need all that extra junk and to add to the mix I have a daughter with severe peanut allergies. Making it through this ghoulish season takes a little prep work as well as laying down some guidelines before the big night.

Here are some helpful tips I use with my kids to make this time enjoyable for them and less stressful for me:

Before Parties:

-Feed them a healthy balanced meal – do not send them in with a growling tummy they will go straight for the junk even if there are healthier options available.

-Discuss any food allergies with the teacher or host ahead of time and provide your own safe treat.

-Try to be present or at least emphasize the importance of NOT eating shared candies or opening any goodies before you’ve had a chance to inspect them. If you just don’t feel comfortable sending them, plan your own special outing and skip the party altogether.

Trick or Treating:

-Number one rule – do NOT open any candies before they’ve been inspected

-Bargaining – they can trade in a portion or all of their candy for something else agreed upon such as new sports gear, clothing, shoes, toys etc.

-Cash for candy – offer to pay per piece of candy – they can either keep the money or donate it to a worthy cause. Check your local dentist – many have a program to trade in candy for cash.

You do not have to be a total scrooge. You can let your kids keep some candy and allow them to trade with each other.

-Portion control – Let them have their fill on Halloween night but after that agree upon the portion per day and the time of day.

-Toss it – don’t be afraid to get rid of it especially the really awful stuff – with Christmas and all its goodies around the corner there’s no need to hang onto this candy for months on end. You can’t think of it as a waste because the cost of dental work or the healthcare costs of obesity and diabetes far exceeds that of a piece of toffee.

If you want to set the trend and give out healthy Halloween options, here are some great ideas for healthier treats.

For those concerned about food allergies (whether it’s nuts, peanuts, gluten, dairy, food coloring etc) join the Teal Pumpkin Project and let people know you are a safe house to trick or treat at by placing a teal pumpkin at your door and following their suggestions for Non- food treats.http://www.chockababy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/teal-pumpkin.jpg

 

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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