Halloween is right around the corner, and you know what that means – candy! Nothing says Halloween quite like buckets of treats, hyper children, sugar crashes, and goofy costumes. This time of year makes for some great traditions and memories; however, it can be tempting to reach for the gooey chocolates and sugary candies that seem to creep up around every corner.
While it’s important to allow the kids and yourself to enjoy the season, there are a few ways you can cut back on unnecessary sweets and calories. If you’re trying to stay healthy this Halloween, here are five tips that can help!
One of the most beloved Halloween traditions is trick-or-treating. Few things get kids as excited as dressing up like their favorite superhero or princess and getting free candy from the neighbors! While your kids may be the ones collecting the candy, they’re not the only ones who are tempted to chow down on their bucket of sweets. As parents, it’s just as easy to be enticed by all that chocolate!
Before you go trick-or-treating, fill up on a hearty dinner that will tide you and your family over while you’re out and about. You’ll all be less likely to overfill on sweets and treats while going door to door if you take the time to have a healthy dinner as a family before leaving.
Luckily, fall is filled with tons of seasonal vegetables that make for some delicious healthy dinner recipes. Give some of these fall recipes a try, and get bonus points if you work pumpkin into your meal!
After trick-or-treating with the kids, the last thing you need is a half-used leftover bag of MORE candy at home! Stay healthy this Halloween and avoid buying bags of candy altogether. There are plenty of healthy choices to hand out that the neighborhood kids will love just as much as candy—and that won’t tempt you quite as much.
Snacks such as animal crackers, granola bars, pretzels, apples, or trail mix make for great treats. Spice up the packaging in fun, spooky ways to make children even more excited about their healthy treats.
If you would rather hand out toys instead of food, items such as bouncy balls, frisbees, jump ropes, and sidewalk chalk are not only fun replacements for sweets, but they also encourage kids to go outdoors and play.
At the end of the day, the kids’ excitement is often centered around going door to door and receiving handouts rather than the candy itself, so a healthy snack or fun toy will make them just as happy and won’t tempt you to indulge in leftovers!
Another way to stay healthy this Halloween is ditching the wheels and opting to walk to all the houses while trick-or-treating. One of the best parts of seasonal traditions like Halloween is getting to spend time as a family; so, don’t rush walking from door to door. Enjoy your evening together! Just be sure you all bundle up appropriately.
Not only will you burn calories while walking around, but you’ll also be less likely to mindlessly chow down on candy since the kids will be excited to get to the next house.
After collecting candy while trick-or-treating, allow the kids to enjoy their loot—just don’t let them overdo it! It doesn’t take long for a sugar binge to turn into a stomach ache, and nobody wants that.
Store the rest of the candy in the freezer or out of sight to keep it off your family’s mind, or even donate it to local food pantries, senior citizens’ homes, or children’s hospitals. This helps your whole family stay healthier and encourages the kids to think about helping others.
If you plan to hand out treats, buy your least favorite candies so you’re not tempted to eat them while they’re in the house. And, avoid buying the bag until the day before trick-or-treating begins so it’s easier to stay healthy this Halloween!
Themed parties are a great way to celebrate this time of year! If you’re planning on hosting a party but still want to stay healthy this Halloween, make the focus of the event fun activities instead of sugary treats.
Include festive activities such as dunking for apples, a pumpkin hunt in the yard, spooky crafts, a costume contest, or musical chairs with pumpkins instead of chairs. The children will love all the fun games, and the parents will love you for wearing out their kids’ sugar highs!
No matter how you plan to celebrate Halloween, there are plenty of ways to avoid the sugar rush while still having fun. With these tips in mind, it won’t be hard to enjoy all the wonderful traditions with friends and family—and form healthy habits that last long after Halloween!
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us onFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website.