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Cutting Down Halloween-Candy Intake: Healthy Trick-or-Treat Alternatives

Published by Mimi Escober

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Halloween is one of the big-three candy holidays. Only Christmas and Easter come close to the amount of candy given to and consumed by children on Halloween. For children with food allergies, food sensitivities or families that don’t like to eat a lot of unhealthy food, this can be an especially trying holiday. Learn how to cut out or at least decrease the amount of candy in your household this Halloween.

Trade Halloween Candy

Most people would not want to forbid their children from celebrating Halloween. School parties and trick or treating are part of the fun and excitement. Often, Halloween candy starts rolling into homes days, or even weeks, before the actual day of Halloween. By the end of trick or treating, many children have mounds of high sugar, additive packed candy.

Consider trading all or most of the candy for a coveted toy or game. If your child doesn’t have any food allergies or food sensitivities, you can let him keep a certain amount of his favorite candies. But, trade the majority for a toy. A child with food allergies or sensitivities may have to trade all the candy he received. Talk to your child ahead of time if you are planning to make a trade. You can pick the toy out together before and hold it until after trick-or-treating is completed.

Host a Halloween Party

Instead of trick-or-treating, consider hosting a candy-free Halloween party. Focus on fun and spooky games. Have a costume contest and a haunted house. Give prizes and favors other than candy, such as Halloween themed books and toys.

Give Treats other than Candy

It would be unfair to hand out candy to trick or treating children while denying your own children their candy. Instead of handing out candy, opt for small, inexpensive toys. The Oriental Trading Company carries many toys at reasonable prices. You may even end up spending less than you would on bags of candy. Order early for the best selection and to be sure you get your goodies in the mail on time.

Dealing with School Parties

Children are often asked to bring in candy to share at school parties. Bring in small toys instead. Or, opt for organic candy, such as those made by Yummy Earth. Candy without high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors is far healthier than typical candy.

Focus on Halloween Fun

Instead of focusing on the candy aspect of Halloween, create memories with your child by focusing on Halloween fun. Visit a pumpkin patch and make jack-o-lanterns. Create a spooky scarecrow and other creepy decorations for your home and yard. Read ghost stories and make homemade Halloween costumes.

Halloween doesn’t have to be all about candy. Get creative and cut candy out of your family’s Halloween celebration!



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