I am pretty liberal when it comes to all the Halloween craziness ; I believe we should eat healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time indulge without guilt. I have had a couple of basic conversations with my three year old about the importance of vegetables and fruit; I also refrain myself from labeling “treats” as “bad” food because I feel most foods fit into a healthy diet. There are different ways to handle the Halloween candy craziness , this is how we deal with Halloween in our house.
1). It’s once a year. I believe food plays many different roles and one is celebratory. Instead of being the “food policeman ” I embrace it like other holidays but with a few guidelines.
2). Serve healthy food throughout the day. Like other days, we start the day with healthy breakfast, eat a variety of vegetables and fruit with lunch and dinner. Drink lots of water throughout the day.
3). Wait until the last day or two to buy Halloween candy. Who can resist candy that’s sitting in the house weeks before Halloween, I know I can’t. I wait until that last possible moment to buy Halloween candy, bonus it might be on sale.
4). Limit the number of houses. We are lucky our children are still young and get tired quickly, we limit the number of houses we visit to approximately 1- 1/2 blocks. We usually attend a couple of Halloween activities before the big night which also involves treats.
4). Check for safety. Before allowing any candy we always check for safety.
5). Allow our daughter to pick 2-3 pieces to have on Halloween night. Now that our daughters are older we allow them to pick more than 2-3 pieces and choose when they are full.
6). Sort out her favorites and discard the candy she dislikes. We are lucky my daughter dislikes most candy except anything chocolate. Girls love their chocolate. As a result, half of the candy is thrown out.
7). One treat a day. In our house we have a one treat a day rule where my daughter gets to choose a small treat with our approval, it can be a small handful of mini chocolate chips or a homemade muffin with chocolate chips. There are alot of foods that do not make the one a treat day list but that’s for another post.
8). Brush and floss – Before going to bed we make sure all the sticky candy is removed with a good floss, brush, and rinse.
Halloween can be a fun family event; but if you do feel uncomfortable about all the candy from all the festivities you can play the “Switch Witch”. The “‘switch witch” is a good witch who visits your home Halloween night. After all the activities are done, ask your child to sort out his or her candy and leave it on the table for the switch witch, in exchange for a book, game, or toy.
Don`t feel like giving out candy and looking for alternative ideas , check out Lisa Leake from 100 days of real food for fun alternative Halloween treats.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!