Halloween can be fun, festive, and healthy! Take a pass on the sugar hangover this year, and keep in the spirit of things with these simple, delightful ways to make the Halloween holiday happy and just a little bit healthier.
- Bake tasty treats. Put a creative spin on traditional sugar-laden sweets this October. Rather than candy and other unhealthy refined sugars, consider Halloween themes as you craft recipes into yummy, healthy treats.
- Turn ghostly green apples into goblin faces with peanut butter mouths, a triangle of cheese for tongues, and toasted pumpkin seeds for teeth.
- Whip up granola and yogurt cups with fruit toppings that resemble pumpkins or black cats.
- Roast veggies in cutout shapes of jack-o-lanterns, witch hats, and ghosts.
- Transform a frozen banana on a stick into a mummy by applying stripes of yogurt and two dots for eyes.
- Top quesadillas with spooky veggie faces.
- Try out bat-shaped cookie cutters on pita bread and serve with hummus dip.
- Let the fall season be your guide. Whether you pick a local pumpkin to carve (or roast and bake into Healthy Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Pie Smoothies or head to the nearest corn maze, fill your days with all the goodies that fall in Maine brings.
- Consider throwing a Halloween bash in lieu of trick-or-treating. Play games, dance, give out fun prizes, and start your own healthy Halloween tradition!
- Fill up on good-for-you food before trick-or-treating. As tempting as it is to call in a pizza on All Saints’ Eve, plan ahead. Try putting together a Pumpkin Turkey Chili in the slow cooker the morning of Halloween, and it’ll be ready before it’s time to hit the streets. (Bonus points for serving it in a cleaned-out pumpkin!) Or make a spooky charcuterie board so everyone can help themselves—load up slices of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and meats alongside rubber spiders, skeleton bones, and peeled grape “eyes.” When you fuel up on healthy food first, your kids (and you!) are less likely to overdo the refined sugar.
- Mix up what you give out. Trade bowls of candy for Halloween-themed erasers, stickers, fake tattoos, glow sticks, bubbles, or other games or toys. Or hand out bags of healthier snacks, like string cheese, trail mix, or granola.
- Get active. Take a bike ride, walk the long way to the trick-or-treating neighborhood, and enjoy time outdoors in Maine’s beautiful fall weather.
- Limit bag size and location. If your child has a smaller bag trick-or-treating, they can’t carry as much candy. Likewise, combing a small neighborhood for candy will minimize the amount of candy they collect.
- A little goes a long way. Develop a trick-or-treat rationing system that works for your family. Consider setting aside a few of their favorites and managing the stash: allot a certain number of candies for each night in the coming week. Moderation is helpful to model. Or give away the loot. Some homes for older adults, food pantries, and other local charities take donations of candy. Dentists, too, will often “buy back” candy from children. Some families even have a “Switch Witch” come overnight and replace the candy with a special gift for each child.
With a little planning and a dose of creativity, your Halloween celebration doesn’t have to involve copious amounts of candy, sugar overload, and super stimulation. It can be fun—and healthy, too!