Tricks to Have a Healthy Halloween

Think you’re a bad mom because you let your kid eat whatever candy they want to on Halloween? Think again! That strategy is actually a pretty good way to pull off a healthy Halloween! Here are 4 tricks to help your family have a healthy Halloween and beyond. Yup, it’s possible!

Normalize Sweets

This trick is good all year round. We all want what we can’t have, it’s human nature or something! And that trend follows true with kids and food. If you tell them no ‘you can’t have cookies, they are bad’, they eat more. That’s why this first strategy sets the groundwork for special days like Halloween, birthdays and other special events. 

Try this: Serve a small dessert every day, alongside the peas and your normally scheduled dinner. This creates a ‘so what’ factor about dessert, because your little one sees it every day. It doesn’t matter if your little one eats the dessert first or saves it for later, just make sure there are no seconds (unlike with the peas!)

See, a healthy Halloween includes the candy! The trick is to make it NBD.

Have a Special Hearty Breakfast 

On days you know sweets and treats will be served with abundance, eat a good hearty breakfast with lots of protein like eggs and no added sugar. This gives your little one a solid base to work from. The idea is if we are satisfied already, we are more likely to self-regulate (aka stop eating when we are full). If the sweet smorgasbord is happening later in the day, extend this approach to lunch and dinner. 

Some ideas:

  • Egg, ham and cheese sandwich like a mcmuffin or make it at home (skip the home fries)
  • Turkey sandwich, boiled egg, carrots and dip, apple
  • Chicken and bean burrito with guacamole

Eat the Darn Candy 

The next trick is hard for some of us, especially when we parents, feel guilty about what we eat. To have a healthy Halloween you need to acknowledge Halloween is special and eat the candy! Yup, that goes for you too, mama! 

The best thing you can do for your little one in the long run is to help her establish a neutral relationship with food. And guess what?! That doesn’t have to be a hard thing to do. Try this:

  • Take away negative language about candy this Halloween. Use words to describe taste and texture. 
  • Model healthy behavior and try some candy yourself. And show it’s OK to just have a bite.
  • Don’t create a feeling of scarcity. There will be candy tomorrow. Just go back to one piece per day served at dinner. 
  • When you’re done say, wow I’m full. And show you listen to your own body.

Have a Plan for the Volume

Doesn’t it just feel like every year the kids bring home MORE candy? Just because you have a kid-facing strategy, doesn’t mean you want oodles of candy in the house. We get it. You need a plan. One way to deal with the volume is to have your kids sort the candy into sharing piles. What candy do you want to share with grandpa? What do you want to keep? This strategy gives you permission to send candy away. 

Unfortunately food banks don’t take candy, so try think of people in your community who might want the extra stash. A tutor to share with her students? Volunteers at church? Work colleagues? Get creative!

Bring On a Healthy Halloween

And that’s a wrap! Have other tricks to pull off a healthy Halloween? Leave a comment and let us know. 

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