October 20, 2016

5 Tips for a Healthy & Sweet Halloween

Halloween is quickly approaching and the excitement in our house is palpable. Costumes have been selected, trick-or-treating strategies mapped out, pumpkins carved. I’ve even purchased a few bags of candy and stuck them in the basement in preparation for the busy night on our street!

I am all about letting the kids embrace the holiday, they only tricky part for me is making sure they balance the sweet with the healthy. Candy is a fact of the holiday and I don’t want to fight it, but I do want to keep our children somewhat in check with the sugar intake. Here are a few things I do to maintain a balance in our household throughout the month while still enjoying the holiday.

Balancing Halloween | The Naptime Chef

Healthy First: My children always have to eat their chicken and vegetables before they get dessert and that stands true for Halloween candy. Yes, I let them have a little candy after lunch, but not before they’ve eaten their sandwiches and fruit. Even though there are often whines for candy around 4pm, I stay strict on the healthy-dinner-first rule. Negotiations can be difficult – even I crave candy at 4pm – but I stay strong and it all ends well.

Balancing Halloween | The Naptime Chef

Focus on the Fun: There is a lot of talk about candy during the month of October but I also try to focus on the other fun parts of the holiday. We are big fans of decorating mini-pumpkins for our table, carving pumpkins for the doorstep, crafting chains of witches and goblins, and so much more. There is no end to the Halloween fun you can have at home that doesn’t involve candy or sweets at all.

Balancing Halloween | The Naptime Chef

Plan to Donate: My daughter tends to accumulate buckets and buckets of candy during the week of Halloween. Even though she is allowed a couple of pieces a day it is still more than I would ever let her eat. When she was old enough to understand we made a deal that she can keep her favorite candy pieces and donate the rest to our local dentist who sends it to the troops. Even she acknowledges it would take her months to get through her entire stash! Many communities have candy donation programs and it is worth seeking them out, or starting one yourself, to share the wealth.

Balancing Halloween | The Naptime Chef

Revisit the Balancing Act: It is inevitable that there will be at least one or two sugar highs, followed by sugar crashes, during Halloween season. I view this as an opportunity to remind my children about balancing diets and why it is so important for their bodies. They sometimes roll their eyes, but I know the lesson sinks in when they remember how awful it feels to gorge on chocolate bars before dinner.

Move On: A week after Halloween is over it is time to move on. I usually pack away the pumpkin buckets, take down the decorations and move any remaining candy to a bag in the pantry. I don’t like the holiday to linger too much because there is so much more to look forward to in November and December!

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cascadian Farm as part of our ongoing partnership. The photographs and opinions are wholly my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support The Naptime Chef.)