9 Tips for a Healthier Halloween


a lighted jack-o-lantern sitting on a table

Are you looking for a healthier Halloween this year? We’re providing you with some simple tips that can help!

Halloween is almost here, and that means many kids and adults alike are picking out their costumes and planning to celebrate. Because of a more subdued Halloween in 2020, people are spending more on Halloween in 2021. It is projected that people will spend $3 billion on candy alone for the holiday. That means a significant increase in sugar consumption over previous years.

Most people recognize the connection between eating too much sugar and weight gain. But high sugar consumption also increases the risk of heart disease, causes insulin resistance, can lead to type 2 diabetes and fatty liver, causes depression, and can increase the risk of cancer.

So, it is always good to minimize how much sugar the kids…or you are eating around Halloween. And there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of sugar you eat, while still feeling like you aren’t missing out!

So here are a few healthier tips and tricks to help you have a healthier Halloween!

Skip the king-size candy

When choosing candy to pass out, select smaller-sized candy. The kids don’t need king-size or even full-size candy bars! The bigger the candy, the more sugar. Smaller pieces of candy allow the kids to enjoy some candy without eating as much sugar.

Limit the amount of candy kids are allowed each day

You already know that the kids will be coming home from trick-or-treating or that Halloween party with lots of candy. But you control how much they are allowed to eat each day. It’s better to not let them have free reign with their candy. Allow them to select one or two pieces a day and stick with it!  

Make sure to eat a healthy dinner or snack before the kids go out

Whether they are going out trick-or-treating or to a Halloween party, make sure to provide a meal or snacks with healthy foods. This will prevent them from over-consuming sugary treats throughout the night.

Wait to buy your candy

Don’t buy your Halloween candy weeks before the holiday. If you buy the candy you plan on passing out for Halloween closer to October 31 there is less time for it to sit around as a temptation for you or for the kids.

Take a smaller bag to collect candy

Avoid letting the kids bring pillowcases or giant plastic pumpkins to collect candy. That encourages them to collect far more candy than they need. A smaller bag fills up more quickly. And it makes the kids feel like they have collected plenty too.

Make healthy Halloween themed snacks

Are you throwing a Halloween party? There are some great ideas online for healthy snacks with Halloween themes. You can find cute ideas like ghost bananas, apple slices that look like monster mouths, and Clementine fruit that looks like pumpkins. There are plenty of fun, tasty, and healthy options that will make your party even more festive.

Offer non-candy alternatives for trick-or-treating

If you really want to avoid passing out sugar-filled candy, why not take a look at some of the non-candy items that are available to pass out to trick-or-treaters this year. Glow sticks, bubbles, temporary tattoos, stickers, crayons, bracelets, or rings can all be fun options instead of candy.

Skip the sugar-filled beverages

You already know that there will be lots of sugar eaten around Halloween. So, it’s a great time to opt for healthier beverages that are lower in sugar. Water is always a great option, but select beverages that won’t load up the family with additional sugar! Stay away from soft drinks, and sugar-filled punches. Try adding a splash of orange juice to some sparkling water. Add a few berries to make a simple, bubbly, low-sugar beverage.

Choose the best candy and get rid of the rest

Have your child go through their candy and select the candy they like the best. Allow them to keep enough to have one or two pieces each day for a couple of weeks. Then get rid of the rest! You can have your kids trade in the candy they don’t want for a special prize or fun activity. You can donate the leftovers to a local homeless shelter, give it to a group that sends care packages to military men and women, repurpose the candy or throw it out.

Halloween doesn’t have to become a house of sugar horrors this year. A little advanced planning and setting some food boundaries with your kids, and yourself can help you have a healthier Halloween!

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