Believe it or not, you can enjoy Halloween with your family and still make healthy choices. I’m not saying that the temptation isn’t real. There will be candy everywhere you turn for the next week or more! But with a few #FNPholidaytips, your family can celebrate Halloween without all the added sugar.
Fill up on healthy foods first
Before you head out to a Halloween party or go trick or treating, have a light meal or filling snack first. Stick to the MyPlate formula – low-fat dairy, half your plate fruits and veggies, lean protein and whole grains. By having a healthy meal before the sugar bomb hits, you’ll be less likely to overdo the candy.
2 for 1 pumpkins
Does your family carve jack o’lanterns? Did you know you can eat the seeds you scooped out? Pumpkin seeds are easy to make (try this recipe). They’re also full of important nutrients, like healthy fats, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Make roasting pumpkin seeds a part of your family’s pumpkin carving tradition.
And if you’re into pumpkin flavored everything, try roasting a pumpkin with your kids. The large pumpkins for carving aren’t the best option for eating, so look for the smaller pie pumpkins instead. Like other winter squash, pumpkins are a good source of copper, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Crustless Pumpkin Pie is one of my favorite FNP pumpkin recipes, along with our Honey of a Pumpkin Bars and Pumpkin and Bean Soup.
Make healthy foods fun
When you add a little pizzazz to ordinary foods, suddenly they’re just as fun as all the other treats. Decorate clementines or mandarin orange fruit cups with jack o’lantern faces or draw eyes on string cheese to look like ghosts.. Give spooky, creepy, or gross names to foods, like Zombie Eyeballs (red grapes), Green Monster Smoothies, or Black Cat Barf (guacamole). Kids love to gross adults out and eat these “yucky” snacks. But you’ll know the jokes on them, as they eat all their fruits and veggies!
Move your feet
Find ways to bring physical activity into your Halloween traditions. Trick or treating used to involve walking around the neighborhood. But these days, many families are going door to door in a car. Park the car and walk with your kids through the neighborhood. It’s safer since you can keep track of your kids and keep them out of the road easier. Walking also helps burn off some of their energy and might help them get to bed easier after a long evening of excitement.
Treat yo’self [a little]
Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and into the future. As strict as this sounds, it actually means that you can balance out the occasional treat, like a few pieces of candy at Halloween, with an overall healthy eating pattern.
What tips do you have to help keep Halloween fun for kids without overloading on candy?