Scaring Up A Healthy Halloween For Children

Healthy Halloween is a contradiction in terms, right? After all, no self-respecting ghost would be caught dead with the likes of a wheat-germ cookie or a piece of fresh fruit. Halloween is meant for the spirited-ravaging of sugar-laden "goodies."

But if you're one of those moms, dads, or grandparents who recognize that the kids will be getting plenty of sweets without you contributing to their loot, you may want to hand out some Halloween treats that lean toward the healthy side of Trick or Treating -- without compromising the spirit of the holiday for the kids. Try some of the following:

You can create your own individual packets for Halloween parties, school functions, or sleepovers, or provide pre-packaged:

  • Roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds - try David's® brand
  • Cheese - such as string cheese, Babybel®/Laughing Cow® cheese
  • Oatmeal - look for natural oatmeal such as Erewhon®; Nature's Path® organic vegan; Uncle Sam®; Costco® now carries their own Kirkland Signature brand of organic oatmeal, which is in a box that's about the same size as the regular Quaker® oatmeal box they also carry; and Sturm's® organic oatmeal at Walmart® (of all places) for about $2.50 for a box of eight packets - no question, this is a good deal
  • Granola bars - checkout the Kashi® brand; for parties cut them into bite-size squares and tie them in individual packets to save some cost
  • Raisins or other dried fruit; for parties, tie them in individual packets to save some cost
  • Cocoa/hot chocolate
  • Crackers (whole grain is best) - checkout the brand Healthy Handfuls®
  • Popcorn - single serving size; for parties, pop and wrap in paper or netting and tie with a string
  • Fruit cups or check out Fruitabu Smooshed Fruit® or Stretch Island's Fruit Leathers®
  • Juice boxes - check out Mott's for Tots®; for parties you can serve fresh fruit

If you don't want to provide food, try giving the children some of these fun items:

  • Halloween pens/pencils
  • Small packages of colored pencils or crayons; or divide a larger packet into smaller numbers, and tie them together with a black or orange ribbon
  • Halloween stickers
  • Coins wrapped in orange netting tied with black ribbon
  • Toothbrushes (well, kids may think BOO!, but mom's will appreciate them)
  • Hair clips or ribbons for little girls
  • Trading cards for the boys; Spiderman Cards, Batman cards; baseball cards

If you celebrate Halloween in your town, this is a great opportunity to teach your children about healthy versus unhealthy sweeteners. Don't be surprised that they are sincerely interested in the facts - kids today are sharper than you think, and they know when they eat or drink something that gives them a headache, makes their tummy hurt, or creates vertigo and dizziness. They know that they don't want to go around in a fog caused by food chemicals. If concerned parents and grandparents teach trick or treaters what is good for them as opposed to what will make them feel sick, kid will learn to select the healthier goodies as opposed to those processed treats that create a bad sweetener "hang-over."

Don't underestimate this opportunity to teach a life lesson for a happy Halloween experience, creating safe treats, healthy goodies, and a better morning for everyone the next day!

Have a safe and healthy Halloween.

Posted October 2008 | Permanent Link

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