Not So Scary Tips for a Spooktacular Halloween
Spooky season is here! For many, the holiday season from Halloween to New Year’s Day is a struggle not to indulge in unhealthy habits. But have no fear, parents! Halloween doesn’t have to frighten you! Instead of dreading all the extra sugar, fake ingredients, calories and plastic that’ll be making their way into your house over the next couple months, here are tips for a healthier and more sustainable Halloween for you and your family.
- Skip the plastic. Yes, the jack-o-lantern and Frankenstein plastic candy buckets are adorable, but let’s be real, these will probably only get used one time. Opt for a good ole pillowcase or recyclable grocery bag for trick-or-treating. After all, it’s what’s inside that counts.
- DIY the costumes. Another chance to use something you already have instead of buying a one-use costume that won’t be cool to re-wear next year. Plus, you can save money too! Once your kids decide what they want to be for Halloween, take stock of what you already have in your closets. You can even turn Halloween costumes into a fun craft for the kids using things they find throughout the house.
- Multi-purpose pumpkins. Your family’s carved creations can be way more than just front porch décor! Pumpkins are packed with Vitamins A, C, potassium and fiber. Try using your pumpkin in these recipes (add link to pumpkin recipe roundup). You can also try roasting your pumpkin seeds or adding your pumpkin “guts” to your at-home compost.
- Think healthy-first. Before your kids head out the door in their homemade costumes, offer them a filling, protein-packed meal. This way they’ll be fueled for an evening of trick-or-treating and less likely to over-indulge in the junk on a full stomach.
- Map out a trick-or-treating plan. Try not to encourage a competition to see how many doorbells the kids can ring. Consider putting a limit on how many houses to visit, or choose a smaller neighborhood to trick-or-treat in. Think about only letting the kiddos collect as much candy as you’ll actually let them eat over the next couple weeks, so it doesn’t all end up in the trash.
- Earn the candy! If going to a big neighborhood with friends is more your style, turn the group outing into a game. Tell the kids they can go to every fourth or fifth house or put a time limit on each street. This way they’re not gathering quite as many sweets while also getting exercise if covering the whole neighborhood is the end goal.
- Limit the treats. Definitely take inventory of the candy haul. You probably don’t want to let the youngsters have it all in one night. Some fun ways to assess the situation are to have the kids dump out their goodies and categorize them by brand, type or color. Then you can get a good visual of all the candy, pick out what needs to be thrown away (or that you might want for yourself… wink wink), and decide how many pieces they can enjoy each night.
- Mix in some not-so-scary sweets, too! If you’re the parent that gets stuck at home greeting trick-or-treaters, consider handing out low sugar candy varieties or fun size treats (instead of full size). You can also purchase from brands that use cleaner ingredients. When more and more people take a similar approach, small acts like this can make a big difference. When your own kids get back home, offer them healthy snacks before they dig into their treats. This way they aren’t filling up on only processed sugar.
See? Not so scary after all! Happy Halloween!