Five Tips to Keep Your Kids Entertained with Some Fun Halloween Alternatives
Goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and gorging on candy… Halloween recipes have all four in equal measure. But when all is said and done, all the sugar that comes with candy can quickly lead to regrets.
With obesity and cavity rates increasing for the first time 40 years, many health experts view this candy-centric holiday as a real nightmare. An estimated 158 million Americans participate in Halloween, with an average of 3.4 pounds of candy per trick or treat-er consumed over the course of the holiday.
This has raised concerns with The American Dental Association (ADA), who have launched a campaign called “Stop Zombie Mouth.” The campaign aims to end the over-consumption of sweets by offering coupons for the game Plants vs. Zombies for people to distribute instead of candy.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t let your kids trick or treat, and we aren’t suggesting you not let them enjoy a bit of candy. But it’s worth it to limit the amount of candy your kids consume, and supplement the holiday with fun activities and healthy alternatives!
Eat Before Trick or Treating
Make sure your kids get a good meal before you go out trick or treating. If your kids are full beforehand, they will be less tempted to eat candy to satisfy their appetite. Also, consider bringing along a few healthy snacks and treats to make sure your kids aren’t just scarfing down sugar. They’ll certainly appreciate the energy boost without a sugar crash!
Go for Spooky Food
Keep your diet in the spirit of the season by dressing it up a bit. Use this time of year to introduce new and fun foods into your kid’s diet by disguising it as something seasonal and spooky. It’s also a great opportunity to get your kids more involved in the cooking process by having them design the food to look like whatever ghoulish thing they desire.
Keep Active While You’re Out
Make sure you encourage your kids to walk from house to house. Keep the car for driving from neighborhood to neighborhood, if need be. If your child is totally averse to walking, suggest a bike ride or scooter ride instead. Don’t be afraid to introduce a little competition as well by having all your children wear step counters and offer a small prize to the child that walks the most.
Change What You Give Away
Most people in your neighborhood will probably be handing out candy by the handful, but if we are being honest, most kids prefer toys. Don’t feel compelled to stick to the regular chocolate bars and gummies and instead branch out into Halloween themed items. Notebooks, bouncy balls, coloring pencils, small packs of playing cards, and anything creepy can put a smile on any child’s face while keeping excess sugar out of their diet.
Share the Loot
Use Halloween as a way to teach your kids about the power of sharing and donating. Have your kids divide their candy haul into piles, one to keep and one to give away. There are several charities that accept candy donations as part of seasonal drives. Sharing in the bounty will cut down on the amount of candy available for your children, and instills in them a sense of community and charity.
Even with all these ideas, it is important to let your kids enjoy the Halloween season. Balance their intake of candy with plenty of healthy snacks and let your kids be kids. A treat now and then is okay, after all, but don’t let trips to the dentist haunt you!