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Let’s face it, kids and even adults love Halloween. The spooky question is how do you keep kids healthy without taking the fun out of trick-or-treating? Here are some tricks and tips to prepare for the festivities and to help keep kids healthy this Halloween.
To keeps kids healthy, parents need a game plan. Children should be allowed to have some treats but the key is moderation. The main goal is to plan ahead and provide sweets in moderation making sure that your kids do not over eat candy.
Also, before trick-or-treating, provide your little goblin a nutritious meal that includes fruits and vegetables. This will lower your child’s appetite for the sweets they are about to collect.
Offer mini-bars and snack-size treats. Snacks likes snack-size pretzels, raisins, dried fruit and Chex-mix can be used for school snacks and decrease the overall calorie load in the trick-or-treat bag. Other healthier Halloween options, try filling the bowl for trick-or-treaters with:
• Mini juice boxes
• Individual packs of raisins, trail mix or popcorn
• Small bags of popcorn
• Mini dark chocolate candy with nuts
• Cheese and cracker packages
• Mini rice cereal bars
• Granola bars
Hand out mini-sized kid favorites like peanut butter cups and candy bars, but parse them out one at a time rather than by the handful.
Chocolate covered raisins still count as candy, but they are at least packed with fiber and other healthful nutrients. Peppermint Patties are low in fat.
Several studies show real chocolate has health benefits, but most commercial candy bars are so highly processed many of the healthy flavonoids are lost. Give out small organic dark chocolate squares from Trader Joe’s and other sources. According to one study, dark chocolate may help treat coughs.
One nutritionist notes that even though lollipops are all sugar, they take longer to eat and are a good idea because they help kids eat less overall.
Instead of candy, hand out stickers, tattoos and other non-candy items. Non-candy treats are more expensive but it’s worth the extra cost to help lighten the Halloween calorie load.