Trick or Treat! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and is approaching quickly. This festive time of year, where kids (or adults) get to dress up as their favorite characters and enjoy a few scares, can also literally be quite scary. Consider what is actually lurking in your child's candy bag after a night of trick or treating - GMO's (genetically modified organisms), artificial food coloring and additives, and enormous amounts of sugar. Sugar is linked to a long list of health concerns and literally has the ability to change our tastebuds so we continue to crave more and more of the sweet stuff.
Halloween might seem like the worst time to talk about moderating our sugar intake, but it’s actually a great time of year to practice how to enjoy a little indulgence, participate in celebration, and do it in a way that honors our bodies and our health. Holiday or no holiday, we can’t keep making excuses for eating large amounts of sugar and highly processed foods. Lets face it childhood obesity is on the rise and children are faced with a variety of health complication, including diabetes, allergies, asthma, and ADHD.
The good news is there a few simple steps you can take this Halloween to limit sugar and keep this fun holiday healthy:
- DON'T HAND OUT CANDY: On Halloween night ditch the candy and handout festive toys instead to trick or treaters. Hand out temporary tattoos, stickers, and other Halloween themed favors. 100 Days of Food has a few great ideas for fun and creative ideas.
- SET EXPECTATIONS: Make sure your kids know what the candy limit is. Keep candy out of sight and monitor the amount they get to have. Two pieces are a reasonable serving size.
- SWAP OUT WITH DARK CHOCOLATE: Most people don’t realize that chocolate, much like fruits and vegetables, is plant derived. Dark chocolate, with high-cocoa content, is loaded with anti-oxidants and is a much better alternative to chocolate sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
- GET A VISIT FROM THE SWITCH WITCH: Have your child set out a bowl of candy at night, while they are sleeping, the Switch Witch comes and swaps out the candy fora small present. Your child is willing and excited to trade in his or candy for a new present they want!
- MAKE SUGAR-FREE ALTERNATIVES: What I love about Pinterest is the creative recipe ideas for healthier alternatives. Check out my Pinterest page for healthy Halloween Alternatives.