No tricks here! Try these tips from the American Heart Association to make your Halloween festivities a little healthier for your family, party guests and all those trick-or-treaters.
For the Trick-or-Treater
Worried you’ll have leftover Halloween candy until long after Valentine’s Day? Using a smaller bag will help, but sometimes kids STILL end up with a ton of extra sweets. Here are some ideas of what to do with the leftover candy:
- Keep enough candy for one piece a day for one or two weeks (long enough for the excitement to wane). Throw away, donate or repurpose the rest.
- When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some nuts, or celery with peanut butter.
- “Buy back” candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at the park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
- Some dentists’ offices have buy-back or trade-in programs, too.
- Save it for holiday baking.
- Donate excess candy to a homeless shelter or care package program for troops overseas. A familiar sweet treat from home can be comforting at the holidays.
- Save it to fill the piñata at the next birthday celebration or give out with Valentine cards.
- Use it in an arts and crafts project or to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
- Throw it away! And don’t be tempted by the half-priced candy after Halloween!
For the Party Host
- Up the fright factor. Serve healthy snacks dressed up in the Halloween theme. There are lots of creative ideas being shared online at this time of year!
- Play with food. Incorporate healthy foods into activities, such as decorating oranges like Jack-O-Lanterns, making banana ghosts, and bobbing for apples.
- Keep ‘em moving. Include plenty of physical activities, like a zombie dance party, three-legged monster race, spider crawl or pumpkin toss.
- Rethink your drink. Don’t forget that cutting back on sugary treats includes soda and sugar-sweetened beverages. Make a festive Halloween punch from sparkling water and a splash of 100% orange juice, garnished with plenty of orange slices and black grapes or blackberries.
For the Stay-At-Homer
You don’t have to pass out candy on Halloween. Start a new tradition on your street and give out healthier treats or non-edible items.
- Snack-sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, trail mix or nuts
- Sugar-free chewing gum
- Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
- Stickers or stamps
- Plastic spider rings or vampire teeth