Halloween comes every year, and as much as we love food and candy, our bodies could do without the sugar hangover that lasts, and lasts, until those big bags of candy (that we stole from our children) are long gone. I must admit that when I was a kid, my mom would knock on the doors around our community and give them tooth brushes, apples, toy cars, and other sugar free gifts to hand to my brother and I when we came to the door.

She did the best she could to prevent us from coming home with heavy pillow sacks full of candy and chocolate because we had allergies to dairy that as a kid we didn’t understand, and sugar sent us over the moon and had us waking up moody and with dark circles under our eyes.

Being a parent, (I can only imagine), is stressful enough so why not prevent the candy hangover this year with these simple solutions to a health conscious trick or treat.

Rule #1: Look for the “Teal Pumpkin”.

  • Homes that have a teal colored pumpkin outside their doors this year are offering kids allergen free treats. This concept launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014. Called the Teal Pumpkin Project™ it raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. These houses may even opt for non-food treat options like toy cars, pencils, toothbrushes, and small games that they know kids would just as a fun alternative.

Rule #2: Make healthy Halloween treats with your kids!!!

  • Try making these “Green apple monsters” with almond butter, strawberry slices, sunflower seeds, yogourt, and carob chips! Getting kids involved in the kitchen helps them to appreciate eating healthy and may even help them to branch out and try new healthy foods! Another option is to buy fruit cups and paint them like a “Jack-o-lantern” (shown in the picture).

Healthy Halloween Treat

Rule #3: Use this opportunity to talk with your kids about healthy eating

  • If you don’t have time to pre-trick around the neighborhood (like my parents did), then spend time sorting your child’s candy after the fun is over. This is a great time to talk with your kids about healthy eating and why kicking the sugar habit may be a great thing to consider in the future. Rationing your candy is also a great idea. Get the kids to pick their favorite treats and portion out a certain amount they are allowed to have in their lunch or as an after dinner TREAT. The key word here is TREAT – meaning that this candy is not to be eaten all day long. It is to be savored and consumed consciously. Don’t be afraid to throw the rest away. If you don’t, we all know who will feel tempted to help eat it (ahem, mom and dad).

Above all else, remember that it okay to cheat every once in while, but moderation is absolutely essential around this time of year. Happy healthy trick or treating everyone!

Katie Israelson