Halloween is a time to celebrate fall by dressing up in costumes, and of course, enjoy the tricks and treats! Make this Halloween an opportunity to teach your child to enjoy special treats, in moderation, as part of an overall healthy diet. Here are 3 tips to celebrate the holiday while practicing healthy habits:
- Keep a balance – Halloween is just one day a year, what we eat the rest of the year has a greater impact on our nutrition and health. Instead of making candy “off-limits” try serving healthy snacks first and save the candy for later. Some examples of healthy treats include:
- Whole-grain crackers • Fruit snacks made with 100% fruit with added vitamin C
- Fruit leathers made with 100% fruit
- Sugar-free gum • Animal-shaped graham crackers
- Low-fat pudding cups • Mini bags of pretzels
- Popcorn tossed with cinnamon and sugar
- Chocolate-covered fresh fruit
- Cinnamon-roasted pumpkin seeds (great source of fiber!)
- Pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffins (great source of vitamin A!)
- Warm apple cider with cinnamon sticks
- Apple slices with a fruit dip made with yogurt mixed with canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice
- Baked apples or pears with cinnamon, nuts and honey
- Practice portion control– When you decide to have a sugary treat, start with a small portion (fun size instead of full size) and really savor it! Halloween is a great time to talk with your children about mindful eating. Discuss what it feels like to savor treats. Also, tell them how they might feel if they eat too much candy at once. Serve each child rather than leaving treats out on a table in order to regulate how many servings each child consumes. Explain that you’re going to spread out the candy over a period of time. Try putting the candy away in a place that is out of sight and you may find that the kids forget about it after a few days. You also can mix leftover candy with whole-grain cereal, nuts and a few pretzels to make a homemade trail mix for snacks.
- Have fun being active– Make sure that the holiday isn’t all about the food. Plan fun activities and games to get moving, such as a costume parade or relay race. Try “Monster Tag” — one child is the monster and whomever he or she tags turns into a zombie.
For more tips on helping you and your family eat right during the holidays and all year round, schedule an appointment with our nutritionist, we offer one-on-one appointments in person and telehealth!