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Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy (and Healthy) Halloween

As a mother during Halloween season, I conjure up images of face paint and makeup smeared on the bathroom counter, empty candy wrappers left hither and yon (while the dog ferrets out the kids' candy stashes in their bedrooms), and "garbage gut" or whatever you call the resulting symptoms of over-indulging in candy and sugar.
Not such a happy image is it?
Instead, try a few of these tips to keep yourself and your goblins garbage-gut-free (I make no promises about your bathroom counter).

  • Involve your kids in planning your Halloween dinner.  This will help them get excited about the fun or favorite food they'll be having that night.  
  • Make dinner first and candy second a family rule.  If you have a hard time selling this one - remind them of past Halloweens and the pains of garbage gut, and assure them that candy or treats will happen - just in the right order.  
  • Be wise in choosing the treats you'll give out.  Don't end up with a houseful of candy because you over bought (we know where those leftovers go - yes I know you're glancing down at your hips).  Instead, try healthier or non-food items:
      • Honey sticks (that is our treat for trick or treaters this year - yes it has something to do with our excitement over becoming beekeepers as well).  One honey stick contains about 15 calories - that's only slightly less than 4 grams of sugar.  Fun sweet fix without a sugar overload.
      • Cracker packs or other 100 calorie packs.  This nice thing with these is that the leftovers make great lunch-sack-fodder and are obviously lower in sugar than candy bars - just look for whole grain options.
      • Bubble bottles.  No one is ever to old too blow bubbles.  Period. 
      • Glow sticks.  Again - encourages healthy, safe play instead of sugar-coma. 
So regardless of your specific Halloween traditions, with a little advance planning that involves your kiddos, and some sticking to your guns about getting healthful food into those goblins of yours, you can enjoy instead of endure another Halloween - making it both happy and healthy!