5 Tips for a Healthful and Happy Halloween

There are so many fun-filled activities that go along with Halloween. This year we want to help parents incorporate enjoyable experiences for the kids and the entire family. Here are 5 Tips for a Healthful and Happy Halloween.

1. Emphasize the non-food related aspects of the holiday

Emphasize activities over the consumption of sugar-filled treats that are commonly consumed around Halloween.

Examples of non-food related activities that can be done for Halloween include:

  • Visiting a local pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins
  • Feeding animals then taking a hayride
  • Hosting a costume contest
  • Decorating for the holiday
  • Reading It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Watching a spooky movie, such as Spookley the Square Pumpkin

2. Balance

Serve a balanced meal or snack before trick or treating, while sorting through candy and every time you break out leftover candy. This will encourage having these sugar-filled treats in moderation. 

Some easy Halloween Snacks to try include:

3. Make it a moving holiday

Help balance out the eating by getting active. Increase activity by having a costume parade, walking door to door to collect candy, have a monster dance party and/or play games like costume tag or bobbing for apples. 

4. Avoid Allergies

There are several candies that have nuts or other common allergens in the ingredients. Handout out or having other treats available can be a great option for kids with allergies. Stickers, Play-Doh, applesauce, raisins, temporary tattoos, and spider rings are great alternatives to hand out instead of candy.

5. Pick Favorites

After trick or treating, have your child make a pile of his or her favorite candies to enjoy. Get your child involved and pack up the rest to be donated to a local shelter or send in a care package to those serving overseas. 

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August is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ first ever “Kids Eat Right” month

With childhood obesity on the rise, making sure kids eat right and get plenty of exercise is vital.
Parents and caregivers can play a big role in children’s nutrition and health, teaching kids about healthy foods, being a good role model and making sure physical activity is incorporated into each day.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging families to take the following steps:

Shop Smart. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

Cook Healthy. Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.

Eat Right.
Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.

Healthy Habits.
You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.

Get Moving. Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.

Getting kids to eat right can sometimes be a challenge, particularly if they are picky eaters. Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Banister Nutrition for help with your family’s health.  We can help you with healthy meal and snack ideas, make sense of the feeding relationship and insure your children grow into healthy adults. mk