The key to a healthier Halloween is to keep your eye on the amount of sugar the kids eat from their trick or treat outings. It’s likely that they’ll come home with a big bucket or bag full of sweets and chocolates, so make sure that you ‘ration’ what they enjoy in the weeks after 31st October.
In terms of what you can control at home, try to focus on treats made from fruit and veg (how about ‘severed fingers’ made from carrots with simple carving to make the knuckles?) - and get the little ones to stay active by going on Halloween hunts around the house and garden. Here are some pointers to help you think about doing things a little differently this year...
9 Healthy Halloween Treats To Try
- Serve up a healthy Halloween breakfast
Combine your leftover pumpkin seeds with oats, almonds and cinnamon to make a delicious porridge for the cold autumn mornings.
- Make pineapple pieces
Get stuck into a pineapple for your doorstep decorations instead of a pumpkin this year, and turn the insides into little snack-sized chunks for the big night. You could do the same with a melon too, or different veg like turnips or butternut squash, which make great additions to stews or soups to have for Halloween supper.
- Cut down on sugar
Whether you're having a party or handing out the treats on the doorstep, go for alternatives to sugary snacks. Try giving out non-food items like bouncy balls, stickers, crayons, glow sticks or Halloween themed toys to keep the whole neighbourhood healthier on 31st October.
- Play some gruesome games
If you’re hosting a party, keep things active. Play games like ‘Pop the Pumpkin’ (A race to see who can burst the most orange balloons in 10 seconds) or ‘Spooky Spoons’ (who can move the most bat droppings - or raisins - from one bowl to another using only a spoon in their mouth). And no healthy Halloween is complete without a round of apple bobbing or biting to get some fruit in the kids too.
- Have tea before you trick or treat
Make sure your kids have a filling meal (how about some slime soup made with peas?) before they go trick-or-treating, to stop them from eating too many sweets on the streets.
- Put a limit on their loot
If you're venturing out amongst the neighbourhood ghouls and goblins with your own little monsters, choose a smaller bag when collecting Halloween treats - then once it’s full you can call it a night and return back to your own haunted house for games.
- Change your route
Make trick-or-treating more of a challenge - walk to houses further away or up a hill, use a stepometer or wearable device to track your steps and offer extra toy treats if you reach a certain target while you're out and about.
- Choose drinks with less sugar in them
Keep away from sugary pop. Instead, pour the kids low sugar drinks - try Halloween themed colours to make ‘Monster Mocktails’ using orange squash or blackcurrant cordial. Decorate with fruit too (grapes make great floating eyeballs and shreded apples double up as scary scabs) for added spookiness.
- Fill up on fruit
Give out healthier Halloween treats such as boxes of raisins, mini 100% fruit juice boxes, small bags of popcorn or fruit and nut mixes. Stick scary stickers on apples, oranges and give them out too to get into the spirit of the night.