I'm a firm believer in balanced healthy diets for children. However, we also need to be careful not to demonize certain foods and ensure that candy and sugar become "sometimes foods" rather than something to deny kids altogether.
One of the most challenging times of the year for achieving that balance can be Halloween, when it seems like we are almost assaulted with a barrage of candy, cakes, and sugary, additive-laden treats!
However, I'm here to show you that healthy can still be delicious and with a few simple swaps, creative recipes and fun presentation ideas you can hopefully bypass the scary sugar highs and outwit the hidden nasties this Halloween. Here are our tips for managing sugar intake on Halloween.
- Allow your children to choose two to three pieces of candy, chocolate, or sweets and then offer them something exciting in exchange for the rest of their treats.
- Avoid trick or treating on an empty stomach. Don't send your kids out hungry because they will be more inclined to binge on their loot. Put a Halloween twist on an old favorite like stuffed peppers. They are a quick and easy dinner to whip up your kids will love stuffing their very own spooky dinner.
- Keep them hydrated. Thirst can be mistaken for hunger and thirsty kids will also be more inclined to drink sugary soda and fruit juices.
- Have healthier treats on hand. Fill their bags with healthier treats such as dark chocolate buttons, nuts dipped in chocolate, raisins, or sultanas dipped in chocolate, gingerbread men, mini trail mixes with chocolate buds, or popcorn.
- Pick the best of the worst. If your child is determined to have their fill of Halloween treats, then choose mini size varieties such as mini chocolates over full-size chocolate bars. Opt for choices that contain identifiable "real" ingredients, such as peanut M&M's (the peanuts contain protein which helps to increase satiety) over chocolate M&M's. Wherever possible, aim to avoid brightly colored snakes or gummy bears, which are a combination of artificial flavorings, colorings, and sugar and can be gobbled up in seconds.
- Offer real food alternatives to candy, such as peanut butter sandwiches, mountain bread wraps, mini pizzas, or cut-up fresh fruit and veggie sticks. Sometimes just presenting food in a fun and ghoulish way can make all the difference.
- If you're entertaining this Halloween, you might consider a Halloween themed cake rather than providing an array of sweets. You can say goodbye to the Halloween sugar rush with any one of these spooky yet delicious Halloween cakes!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.