With Halloween just around the corner, be sure to plan ahead to give kids healthy alternatives to trick them into thinking they are enjoying a treat. Kate Geagan, America’s Green Nutritionist, award-winning dietitian, and the author of Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low Carbon Footprint Diet, offers the following strategies to help your family survive the Halloween junk food onslaught.
Start with a healthy breakfast.
Although you might be tempted to reach for a sugary cereal for the sake of time, choose a better breakfast for your children. Serve up some good-for-you eats like whole grain bagels or toast—and slather it with avocado (instead of butter) for extra vitamins C, E, and K. Plus, the added fiber will provide your child with a steady stream of energy, especially when they’re about to go out trick or treating.
Repurpose the candy.
Snickers and Skittles and Starbursts, oh my! The options are endless on Halloween, but you shouldn’t let your kids eat their way into a candy coma. Instead of letting your children raid their trick or treat bags and chow down on a full-size candy bar, use leftovers to create a healthier snack instead. Dice leftover Halloween chocolate or candy into bite-size pieces, and then combine with a whole grain treat, raw or toasted nuts, or pumpkin seeds for a snack that still satisfies those candy cravings.
Use non-food treats.
It can be hard to resist grazing on non-healthy snacks when they’re always easily accessible. So skip the traditional Halloween candy and hand out non-food treats to the trick-or-treaters who come to your door. For example, you might want to dole out fake vampire teeth, glow sticks, or pencils and stickers with a Halloween theme. Even single servings of healthier Halloween foods, like popcorn or pretzels, can create a Halloween that’s all treats—and no tricks.