How to Have a Healthy Halloween
By Jackie Cartier
October 25, 2017
Trick or treat! Come October 31 the tradition of asking perfect strangers for candy is upon us and good luck to any parent who (with the best intentions!) tries to skip the neighborhood candy crawl. With that in mind we’re sharing tons of ideas for how to keep Halloween healthy, from the second you wake up, to the weeks of leftovers, we’ve got you covered.
But first, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention why the scariest thing on Halloween is the candy. First up, chemicals. Yup, the bestselling candies out there are full of nothing but chemicals. Be it damaged fats that cause inflammation throughout the body (a fancy way of saying pain throughout the body), carnauba wax (the same product that’s used to make shoe polish and car wax … yuck) or the ever-present sugar, which is known to be a contributing factor in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, and even cancer, let’s face it, candy doesn’t do a body good.
Eat Up … Not What You’re Thinking
The absolute best way to stave off sugar cravings and moments of weakness when you grab for one more chocolate (or 10) is to … eat before the cravings hit! Eat a balanced meal with the trifecta of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates (particularly the vegetable kind). A balanced meal keeps your blood sugar stable, preventing a crash which leads to you needing sugar, stat.
Here’s a menu from sun up to sun down on Halloween to keep your family steady and ready so sugar doesn’t knock you all off your feet.
- Breakfast: Crustless Spinach Quiche with side of hash browns
- Lunch: Chili with a dollop of full-fat sour cream
- Snack: Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
- Dinner: Shepard’s Pie
Science (Candy) Experiments
Make Your Own Potion: Gather a selection of glass jars or cups full of water, drop candies of different colors in each or mix and match to create the craziest (or grossest depending on the viewpoint) “potions.” Once done all potions go straight down the drain as drinking them is definitely not recommended and will likely taste of chemicals.
Vinegar Erosion: For candies like SweeTARTS or Smarties this vinegar drop is amazing to watch. Simply place the unwrapped candies in a bowl and pour white vinegar over the top to watch the “erosion” take place.
Sink or Float: Grab some leftover candy (as many different kinds as possible!) and let your kiddos test their hypothesis on which will sink and which will float. One large bowl of water for each child will work well, but to avoid disagreements and again get rid of more candy, each child should have their own individual pieces to test. Here’s a fun and free printable sheet for them to record their predictions and findings.
Give It Away
Switch Witch: Sometime in October the Switch Witch doll decides to visit your house, act mischievous, play hide-and-go-seek until her favorite night of the year-- Halloween. At bedtime on Halloween, or a couple nights later, children leave their candy with the witch and she makes the switch trading their loot for a special gift.
Operation Gratitude & Halloween Candy Buyback: This program, popular among dental offices, buys back children's Halloween candy ($1 for every pound of unopened candy). From there Operation Gratitude sends the candy to U.S. troops overseas as a small token of our thanks. Check the site to find a participating location in your area.
All that said, we want to wish you a happy and safe Halloween! Enjoy the festivities with your family, savor one or two sweets and know that you are in control of the rest.