Hints & Tips to Help You Enjoy a Healthy Halloween
Category: Health Tips, Seasonal
Halloween is almost upon us and while all of that candy can be a treat for our children, for us parents the sugar-fuelled day is altogether more tricky.
According to some reports, the average costume-clad kid consumes a staggering 7,000 calories in Halloween candy each year. To put that into some context that adds up to around three full cups of sugar, which is the equivalent of your children chomping down on 169 sugar cubes – yuck!
We all know the danger that too much sugar can pose to our health, but convincing your kids to ignore their mountain of candy in favour of something a little more healthy can be especially hard at this time of year.
It’s not all bad news however. With a little bit of preparation and some clever kitchen hacks you can turn Halloween from a trick into a treat for the whole family.
1 – Teach them portion control
If you turn it on its head, then Halloween is actually a really good opportunity to teach your kids about the all-important art of moderation. For example, when they come home with their candy haul, sit them down and ask them separate their sweet treats into “keep” and “discard” piles. It may sound like a simple task, but by allowing your kids to decide for themselves what they want to enjoy now, and what they want to keep for later, you’re teaching them valuable lessons that will help them to make healthy decisions every day of the year.
2 – Fill up first
If you don’t want your little ones to over indulge on Halloween candy, try filling them up with a healthy meal before they hit the streets to trick-or-treat. A healthy balanced meal will make them feel full up, making it easier to resist the urge to chow down on the sugar-filled treats the second they hit their bags.
3 – Cook up your own healthy treats
One way to cut out the sugar-filled snacks you’ll find on the shelves at this time of year is to make your own healthy Halloween treats. For example, we love cooking up a batch of these Berry Scary cupcakes. Not only are they packed full of goodness thanks to the inclusion of frozen berries, but they are also great fun to decorate.
4 – Keep them moving
Exercise is good at any time of the year, but one way to balance out all the calories your kids will end up consuming this Halloween is to get your family up and moving. It could be something as simple as a costume parade or even a seasonally-themed game of tag, but whatever form it takes, building some physical activity into your festivities is a great way of making Halloween a little less scary.
5 – Let them play with their food
“Don’t play with your food” it’s a refrain you’ll hear from frustrated parents at dinner tables across the country. But incorporating some homemade treats into Halloween-themed activities can be a great way to sneak some healthy food into the occasion. For example, you could fool them into eating some fruit by playing an old-fashioned game of apple-bobbing, or dress up a batch of homemade guacamole up as supernatural slime. It’s a simple trick to make healthy food fun for everyone.
6 – Think about drink
While candy obviously takes centre stage during the spooky season, it’s important not to ignore the scary amount of sugar that could be hiding in your family’s Halloween drinks too. Sugar-packed sodas can be just as bad for your kids as all those sweets and candy bars, so switch them out in favour of water or natural fruit juice. You can even get creative and put together a batch of spooktacular smoothies like this scarily good Chocolate Cherry concoction, a frozen treat that’s so delicious they’ll forget it’s actually good for them.
7 – Remember it’s all about balance
We get it, no parent likes the idea of letting their family fill up on all that candy. But it’s worth remembering that Halloween is just one day of the year, so while it’s easy to obsess over overindulgence it’s far more important to ensure that your kids make healthy choices as part of their everyday diet.
Those are some of our favourite tips to make this year’s celebration a little less frightening, but what do you do to make your family’s Halloween healthier? Let us know in the comments section below.