Halloween has been growing in popularity in Australia over recent years, and it is a fun tradition that can bring out the kid in all of us! What is SCARY, however, are the ingredients in so much of the 'candy' and 'treats' that are marketed, bought and given in the name of Halloween. Typical Halloween fare consists of insane amounts of sugar, artificial sweetners, colours, flavours, preservatives, GMO's and other spooky ingredients that you can't pronounce. If you care about our children's health, read on to find out fun ways to make Halloween a healthier holiday for all...
1. If you buy goodies to give to 'trick-or-treaters' who may knock on your door, put a bit of thought into what you can offer them - either healthier treat options or non-food treats that kids might find fun. Take a look at this picture I put together with a few ideas!
If you have kids that are going trick-or-treating:
2. Cook your child's favourite dinner and fill them up before they go out on the town. Try to ensure that they have a really decent meal so that when they start collecting lollies, they won't have that much room to eat it all right then.
3. Emphasize the fun and ritual of the holiday first - the decorations, dressing up in costume, being with friends, the thrill of trick-or-treating - over the actual eating of the sweets.
4. If your child is on a special diet, have some back-up treats. They might not receive any treats that fit with their no-dairy or no-gluten or other special rule, so have some healthy treats at home that they can have instead.
5. Introduce the idea of the Great Pumpkin or Switch Witch - a fun, fictional character that will visit on Halloween night! After picking out a few (approved) treats, the kids leave out all their sweets at the end of the night for the Great Pumpkin or Candy Witch to come and swap it for a toy/gift they will really like. You can make a fun ritual out of this too, and that way the kids get something special that isn't going to be bad for them.
I'm looking forward to doing all these things when my son gets old enough to trick-or-treat! I will want him to enjoy all the fun of the holiday, without all the damaging effects of all those scary treats that are of course given with the best intentions. And I'll be having a big bowl of healthy and non-food treats for all the kiddos who knock on my door this Friday night!
Hopefully this post gives you a few ideas on how to make the holiday a little healthier for everybody. Please feel free to share along if you have found this helpful. Have a happy Halloween!!
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