Halloween is the only time of the year when binge candy eating is somewhat allowed in our home. And it’s been this way since I was a child.
We were practically deprived of sweets growing up, and Halloween pretty much made for it. I remember my mother would have to hide the Halloween treats in different places each year because my older brothers would devour the bag if they found it.
Tricks To A Healthier Halloween
This is the first year Sebastian will not only dress up, but actually participate in gathering treats. He’s already been having a cupcake at least once a month at school since there seems to be a birthday every month. And now, it’s one of the words he continues to say throughout the day. That’s what I get for being obsessed with cupcakes during my first pregnancy.
“Halloween is such a challenging time for health-conscious parents,” according to Vanessa Chamberlin, author of The Fire-Driven Life. “Everywhere we turn, people are offering the least nutritious, most sugary food around: candy! From classroom parties to neighborhood and family gatherings—there’s no way to avoid it. But if you are prepared and have some tasty, plant-based recipes in your toolbox, it will be a lot easier to partake in the festivities without overdosing on refined sugar.”
To help avoid sugar overload in your little one, Chamberlin suggests parents keep these five tricks in mind:
1. Always eat a healthy meal first.
Whether it’s trick-or-treating or going to a party, make sure your kids go on a full stomach so they’ll be less likely to fill up on sugary snacks. On the day of school parties, make a filling, nutritious breakfast, and send them to school with extra special healthy lunches. Pull out your whole toolbox for this one! We’re talking cookie cutters for fun shapes, carving the fruit—everything. Your kids won’t want to miss out on this lunch, which will help them feel satisfied and loved all afternoon.
2. Send your own snacks.
Whenever possible, send your own snacks. Even if you know that your children are going to be eating candy and cupcakes at their holiday parties, at least you can send them with some more balanced foods and encourage them to get their friends to try.
3. Enlist the help of some professionals!
It never hurts to make sure a trip to the dentist falls before Halloween, and ask their help in making sure to explain to your kids why their dental health is so important, and how candy is bad for their teeth. It doesn’t have to be a big scary lecture, but just a simple reminder that a healthy smile starts with a healthy diet is a nice thing to reinforce.
4. Plan or attend a party that’s more in line with your lifestyle.
Many of us have friends who understand why we’ve shaped our habits and lifestyles for healthy living, and they either do the same or are at least supportive and understanding. You don’t want your kids to feel left out, so if they’re not participating in other events, give them something else that’s fun. You might be able to get some of their close friends and families to join in, too. Not many parents like the idea of their kids getting a heavy dose of sugar either trick-or-treating or going to a party, so I’ve found it’s a welcome invitation when I invite people to celebrate holidays with us and have a nutritious night of festivities!
5. Talk about it beforehand.
Let your kids know that you want them to have fun, but not eat lots of candy and junk that will make them not feel good. Ask if there is anything they would like to bring as a treat or eat before a party, and see if you can accommodate their requests. It’s so important for children to feel loved and respected as humans who have their own desires and opinions. Asking them to be involved in your holiday planning can go a long way!
How will you use these tips to your advantage?