Make this Halloween your healthiest one yet
Resisting the urge to eat all your kid’s candy after a long night of trick-or-treating is a challenge, but limiting your sugar intake is important no matter what holiday it is. Halloween doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Whether you’re throwing a Halloween party, handing out treats to trick-or-treaters, or taking your kids door-to-door, there are several ways your family can make Halloween so healthy it’s almost scary.
According to the American Heart Association, children and teens should consume less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Yet, the average American child consumes triple the recommended amount of added sugars each day. To help reduce your kid’s sugar intake this Halloween, consider some of these tips to cut the sugar before heading out the door.
For the trick-or-treaters:
- Turn the evening into a game- Ditch the car and set a goal for how many houses or streets you’ll visit on foot. You can also split into teams and compete to see which team can visit more houses than the other.
- Set limits on how much they can take- Make it a rule that your kids can only take one piece of candy from each house. This will help you visit more houses and get more steps in before they run out of room in their bucket.
- Choose smaller containers- The average bag of treats contains 4,800 calories and has 3 cups of sugar. Leave the pillowcase on your bed and opt for a smaller bucket or pail. A smaller container will also cut-down on how much leftover candy you have.
For the people at home:
- Help others avoid sugar- It’s okay to be that house that doesn’t pass out everyone’s favorite candy. There are plenty of other fun things you can hand out that are relatively inexpensive. Glow sticks, stickers, temporary tattoos, bubbles, and spider rings or vampire teeth are all good, non-food items. Just remember to avoid giving small toys to your littlest trick-or-treaters.
- Pass out healthy snacks- If you really want to pass out snacks, 100% juices boxes or pouches, snack-sized packages of pretzels, graham crackers, or popcorn are healthy alternatives.
- Don’t pass anything out at home- If your kids are too old for Halloween or you want to avoid trick-or-treaters, deliver healthy Halloween treats to your local police or fire station, nursing homes, or children’s hospital.
For the party host:
- Include frightfully healthy snacks- Skip the candy corn and make candy corn colored fruit parfaits, banana ghosts, or apple monster mouths. Visit heart.org for tons of healthy, creative snacks that will match your Halloween party theme.
- Rethink your drink- Avoid the soda and sugar-sweetened beverages. One 12 ounce can of soda has more sugar than the recommended daily amount of added sugar. Offer water and unsweetened tea or make a Halloween-themed punch from sparkling water and a splash of 100% orange juice with orange slices and black grapes.
- Play with your food- Include a fun, healthy activity for your guests. Have your guests decorate oranges like jack-o- lanterns or have them bob for apples.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800- AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.