Halloween is a day that brings to mind two things – costumes and candy. With a few simple tips, you and your family can enjoy a fun and healthy Halloween.
1. Fuel up with a healthy meal before trick-or-treating.
Serve a normal, well-rounded dinner, including lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables. The combination of protein, fat, complex carbohydrates, and fiber will help fill your kids’ stomachs so they’re not tempted to over-indulge on candy later. Instead of making candy and sweet treats completely off-limits, remember that it’s what your kids eat day in and day out that is really important for their overall health.
2. Downsize your portion.
For the Halloween treats that you allow, be sure to provide a reasonable portion. Set a limit on the amount of candy your kids are allowed to have on Halloween, and explain the rules ahead of time. To help with portion control, choose fun-size candy bars, and serve miniature cupcakes or small cookies and brownies (think 2-inches) if you’re hosting a party.
3. Prepare healthy Halloween-themed foods at home.
Candy is high in calories, sugar and fat and provides little nutrition. Make your own better-for-you treats at home for a healthy alternative. Try Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins, roasted pumpkin seeds, or make a Pumpkin Pie Shake by blending low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, canned pumpkin, milk and cinnamon until smooth.
4. Be active.
Trick-or-treating can be a fun way to include physical activity in your Halloween festivities. If you live in an area with sidewalks and streetlights where walking is safe, walk from house to house rather than driving. For Halloween parties, plan active games, like a relay race or costume parade.
5. Put leftover candy out of sight and out of mind.
After Halloween, give away extra candy and put the rest away and out of sight. You may find that the kids forget about the candy when it’s not visible. Allow your kids to enjoy a small serving of candy in the days following Halloween if they think to ask for it. Try mixing leftover candy with whole grain cereal, nuts and freeze-dried fruit for a homemade trail mix that packs a dose of protein, fiber and healthy fat.
Follow our Halloween Pinterest board for more Halloween inspiration. And as always, an EASY PEASY way to stay healthier is to start or end your Halloween night with a delicious, healthy eMeals dinner that will already be planned out for you. Go here to sign up and enjoy a hot and ready meal!