Tips for a healthy Halloween

sfoisy's picture
Posted by sfoisy on 2012-10-24 9:59

As a dietitian I want to offer healthy treats to the kids that come around for Halloween. Each year brings on an argument between my husband and me about what to give away. He says chocolate and I say raisins, to which he replies “Do you want our house to get egged?” So this year I thought I’d do a little creative thinking to come up with some ideas for a healthy Halloween that would keep us both happy and our house free from egg!

Healthy tips for Trick-or-Treaters

  1. Trick-or-treaters should fill up on a healthy meal or snack before they start knocking on doors so they won’t be tempted to fill up on candy.
  2. Encourage your friends, family and neighbours, beforehand, to stock up on healthy Halloween treats.
  3. Take control over the candy after arriving home. Put an expiration date on it – e.g.  after two weeks throw it away.
  4. Allow your child to make daily withdrawals from a “candy bank” so you can monitor their daily intake.

Healthy Halloween treats:

Instead of chocolate bars and treats high in sugar think about options that have positive nutrients to contribute to your child’s health such as:

  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruit or fruit leathers/bars. These can come in fun shapes!
  • Healthy trail mix with dark chocolate chips (without nuts)
  • Small bags of sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 100 per cent whole-grain mini cereal boxes
  • 100 per cent fruit juice boxes
  • Wrapped cheese (e.g. Babybel)
  • If you are going to go with traditional candy get the mini or bite-sized candy bars or boxes. Avoid sweets with any trans fats, which are listed in the ingredients as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils .
  • Don't give out candy at all!  Hand out stickers, glow sticks, creepy spider rings, a small toy or coupon to a fun event or attraction.
  • Most of all have fun!

Have a happy and healthy Halloween everyone!

 

Comments 2

Thank you for your comment. I agree we should be teaching our children a lesson in moderation and treats should be portioned out (as mentioned in step 4). However, candy is not part of a healthy diet or Canada's Food Guide and children do not need the added sugar. Still, it may be difficult to bypass candy at this time of year. Some have difficulty following a message of moderation, especially after the treats have been portioned out for 2 weeks. You may be successful in limiting consumption for a while, but having candy in the house can be hard to resist. This is one tip for those who struggle with how to control intake of Halloween treats with little nutritional value. Removing the candy after a certain period of time can help you avoid the risk of it becoming a part of your regular diet.

I'm disappointed you would encourage people to throw away remaining treats. It is akin to throwing away food and is not a lesson we should be teaching our children. How about a lesson in moderation and sustainability instead? Portion out the treats each day, or on the weekends. Let kids know that treats can be part of a healthy diet instead of sending the message that all sugar is "bad" and should be avoided at all costs...in my experience this only leads to sneaking candy, and in the worst case, bingeing.

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