Halloween is a scary time of year, and not just because of the frightful flicks and creepy crawlers. It can be a chilling time of year for your child’s health when you consider the amount of sugar, fat and calories that he or she can consume after a long night of trick-or-treating. While enjoying a few sweet treats is part of the fun, there are plenty of easy ways to make the year’s spookiest night a healthy one for your child and others in the neighborhood.
Keep it moving
Trick-or-treating is a great opportunity to get some exercise. Make sure everyone in your child’s trick-or-treating group, including the chaperones, wear comfy shoes so they can walk from house to house rather than drive. Walking is an easy way to raise heart rate and burn calories.
Make everyone’s Halloween healthier by straying from the normal candy bar, and passing out one of these healthy treats:
- Nuts: You can find individually packaged, 100-calorie servings of walnuts, almonds and other fiber-full, vitamin-rich nuts at your grocery store. Many brands offer nuts roasted with cocoa or honey, so you can still supply the ghouls and goblins knocking at your door with a sweet treat.
- Fruit: Boxes of raisins, dried cranberries and other dried fruits are an excellent, low-calorie handout choice, as are healthy fruit snacks. Check the label and choose options made with real fruit juice and no artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Non-edibles: Visit your local dollar or craft store and pick up a supply of Halloween stickers, charms, erasers or pencils. These make for creative and festive treats that ensure no one leaves your doorstep headed for a sugar coma.
As a Healthy Blue Xtras member, you can save money on Halloween treats at retailers across Michigan.
Make the holiday last
When your little monster comes home with a basket full of candy, it’s likely they will want to eat their way through the entire evening’s haul of treats. But gorging on multiple pieces of candy in one sitting not only leads to a stomachache, but an extreme intake of sugar, fat and calories, which can cause stress to your child’s system.
Help the holiday last a little longer by allowing your child to pick one piece of candy to enjoy on Halloween. Save the rest for the following days and weeks (one piece a day). Keep treats in the pantry so they’re not in your child’s sight, causing temptation.
For more ideas on how to have a healthy Halloween, explore AHealthierMichigan.org.