Halloween is arguably one of the more fun holidays of the year. Costumes! Treats! It doesn’t require gift giving or large get togethers. But if you’re not careful, it can start you on a path of unhealthy snacking and “treating”, a habit that can stay with you all the way through the new year. Here are some tips for keeping Halloween fun and healthy!
Try decorating the healthy snacks that you already have on stand-by for a fun party appetizer. Make a skeleton out of your veggie tray, add plastic spiders to your peanut butter – celery sticks, or make faces with chocolate chips on a peeled banana to make it look like a ghost. (See more decorated food ideas) All of these would be great for a school party and are easy enough that your kids can help!
Start incorporating pumpkin into your meals now – it’s fall after all and pumpkin is the food mascot of the season! It’s also full of healthy minerals, antioxidants, tastes great both savory and sweet, and is low in fat and calories. Spread pumpkin on a grilled cheese sandwich, dice it into pasta (or puree it into a pasta sauce), use it in soup or add it to a smoothie. (Visit Real Simple for more pumpkin meal ideas).
If you are worried about having leftover candy from passing it out to trick or treaters, there are several organizations where you can donate your unopened candy. Your local Ronald McDonald house (http://www.rmhc.org/) usually takes donation candy for kids who were in the hospital during Halloween, or Operation Gratitude takes candy and ships it to soldiers stationed overseas. Get your whole school involved and host a candy drive for either organization!
Halloween doesn’t have to be the start of unhealthy holiday eating – it can be the start of good habits that will help you navigate through Thanksgiving and Christmas as well!