Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! Most families feel the same way but fear the inevitable bags of corn-syrup laden confections and subsequent post-candy meltdowns. However, it is possible to enjoy the holiday while minimizing the damage to teeth, tummies and mom’s last nerve.
- Trade in the bag of candy for a special treat. After allowing kids to pick out 10-20 pieces of their favorite candy, trade out the candy for a more tangible treat. Sort of like the tooth fairy, the Halloween Candy Fairy (or the Great Pumpkin, or whatever you want to name your new candy-craving creature) comes in the night and trades in the bags of candy for a cool basket of goodies. New books, art supplies, holiday-themed pajamas or gift certificates to movies or a favorite restaurant are all good options.
- Host a Halloween feast. There is nothing worse then a bunch of sugar on an empty stomach. Prior to trick or treating, have family and friends come over for a warming, Autumn meal. Serve hearty, protein-rich dishes with fun and spooky themes. Check out blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2011/10/healthy-halloween/ for recipes. A pre-treat meal will cut down on sugar induced highs and lows.
- Choose the lesser evil. Look to minimize artificial colors and flavors. Choose real sugar over corn syrup (or heaven forbid atificial sweeteners). Dark chocolate is always a good bet. Homemade snacks made with real ingredients are an even better way to celebrate the holiday season. Check out this fabulous recipe for raw caramel and apples (www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/09/raw-caramel-dip-for-apples.html) or maple carmel corn (http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/12/maple-caramel-corn.html)!
Don’t forget to relax and have fun. Most kiddos can handle a few days of junk. Do some damage control, offer healthy options and enjoy. Have a happy, healthy, Halloween!
PS For parents and other folks that get to carried away with holiday treats check out my nutritional cleanse program offered in partnership with Root Yoga (www.rootyogacenter.com/nutrition/)!