Healthy Haunting: The Savvy Mom’s Guide to a Health-ified Halloween (Without Ruining the Fun!)

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‘Tis the season to treat, and treat some more! Class parties, Halloween events, and trick-or-treating all add up to massive sweet consumption that will brew and bubble in your little’s body. Often, the result is scary! Attitudes, behavior, and sleep may be affected by the sugar overload, and super stimulation leading to shape shifting and the emergence of little monsters. Yikes!

Our family attends a Halloween gathering every year before trick or treating. The hostess is one of the best I know, and she keeps health at the forefront of the gathering. It’s thoughtful, and the kids are involved. We all have a ton of fun!

Let’s be clear: I’m not saying that anyone should take the traditions and fun out of this age-old holiday. Instead, I’m merely suggesting that it is possible to clean it up a smidge. Grab a pitchfork and some garlic, maybe a broom, and prepare to health-ify Halloween this year!  

Eats

If it’s cute and fun, chances are littles will love it! If you can use your fingers or scoop it, it’s usually a winner!

Bat-shaped cookie cutters make more than just cute cookies. Use them to cut tortillas or pita bread and dip in hummus. Cheese can also be cut using cookie cutters; for example, “ghost” cheese on crackers is a great appetizer.

Veggies and dip are always a hit! Serve veggie sticks with various dips in “Frankenstein” bell peppers. Guacamole is always fun when oozing from the mouth of a little jack-o’-lantern.  

Fall equals chili. Well, at least to me it does! The upside of this hearty meal is that it’s easy and can be packed with protein and loads of veggies to help offset any hangry beasts. Whip up a big pot of chili and then pour it into a cleaned out pumpkin and serve. Cornbread could be baked in a festive cake mold and displayed before cutting into slices.

Jack-o’-lantern quesadillas are an easy go-to; just cut a spooky face out of the top of a tortilla. Layer your favorite cheese onto a tortilla and top with your jack-o’-antern. You can put them under the broiler for a little crispness or bake in the oven to your desired level of melti-ness.

Drinks

We love to add sparkling water to a little bit of juice; it’s fizzy and feels like pop with a lot less sugar! Gummy bugs or eyeballs are a fun addition, too. Just add them into your ice cube tray before freezing. Pop one in each fizzy drink!

Treats

Candy corn fruit cups or marshmallow fruit kabobs still feel like treats while providing a little nutritional value.

A favorite around here are good ole apple slices slathered in peanut butter (sun butter works great, too!) with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips. Delish and a little better than cookies!

Cinnamon sugar-coated pumpkin seeds usually don’t make it to Halloween day at my house! Sealed in a cute little bag, these make an adorable take-home treat.

Fun

Keep it simple as you are likely going to mingle, eat, and hit the streets. If you have the time, keep the littles busy with Boo! bowling. A black sharpie, a few rolls of toilet paper (pins), and a pie or craft pumpkin (bowling ball) are all you need to construct this easy game. Draw a ghost face or, better yet, have the kids make a ghost face on a roll and then stack before taking turns bowling. Use the leftover toilet paper to play “minute to win it!” Set a time and have teams work together to wrap its players up like mummies. The team with the most mummies is the winner!

Trick-or-Treat 

Sample a treat or two after it’s been inspected! The rest of the treats collected could be allocated as parents deem acceptable. Giving back is a great option: many local charities accept candy donations.

Have the Halloween fun and feel good, too!
Healthy Haunting!

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