Healthy Options for Hallowe’en

The fall season is a big transition for many from the more relaxed summer months. Many families are back in the swing of a more intensive and often overscheduled life, involving school, fall or winter sports, and other activities.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Fall Rural Romp, or apple picking can be great activities to carve out some downtime and unite family and friends. Sometimes, when we’re busy, we can forget to plan and this leads to poor decisions regarding our nutrition and safety. In this blog, I will try to provide you with a comprehensive list of options and considerations to review before Halloween.

One of my favourite traditions, which I have implemented at home, is to ask the kids in early October, “What do you want to buy with the money that you receive in exchange for your Halloween candy?”

The kids start planning for the entire month and also begin to negotiate how much money they should receive per candy. This usually plays out as having one candy and I typically buy them each a chocolate bar that is at least 70% cocoa from a trusted source. The next day we go to purchase what they selected.

Non-Candy Options for Halloween

Here are some of my favourite non-candy options to give to trick or treaters:

  1. Bubbles
  2. Halloween or other themed stickers
  3. Temporary tattoos
  4. Playdough
  5. Themed pencils
  6. Finger lights
  7. Flashlights
  8. Glow sticks, bracelets, necklaces
  9. Erasers
  10. Bouncy balls
  11. Maze puzzles
  12. Yo-yos
  13. Whistles
  14. Whoopee cushions
  15. Stamps
  16. Chalk
  17. Balloons
  18. Art supplies

Going trick-or-treating?

Thanks to CDC for this comprehensive safety list:

  • Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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  • Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.
  • Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
  • Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
  • Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
  • Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
  • Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests? Follow these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for everyone:

  • Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters, such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
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