Healthy Halloween!!- (Or, Don't Get Tricked by Halloween Treats!)

healthy halloween

If you conscientiously try to follow a healthy lifestyle for your family, chances are, the scariest things this Halloween will not be the ghosts, goblins and ghouls who appear at your door but rather the items that show up in your child’s Halloween treat bag!  The common high-sugar, high-fat Halloween goodies are enough to instill horror in any health-minded parent. In watching television broadcast of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, I could not help but feel sorry for Charlie Brown receiving rocks instead of candy like all the other Peanuts characters.

But how can you steer your child to more nutritious options without appearing to be the rock-giving “Candy Witch”?  Here are some healthy ideas that will appeal to every parent and their costumed monsters this year:

  • Consider non-candy alternative treats such as cereal bars, trail mix, raisins, or popcorn
  • Consider non-food treats like glow sticks, pencils, bookmarks or temporary tattoos.

  • Consider activity-based treats like jump ropes, paddle balls or sidewalk chalk

  • Plan a fun- focused Halloween party with activities like bobbing for apples, pumpkin.
    Decorating and/or carving, and a costume parade

  • Set an example by teaching smart food choices and preparing healthy child-friendly recipes all year long

  • Show that moderation is an option.  After all, candy can still be enjoyed sensibly in a healthy diet. And, most types of candy can be stored for relatively long periods of time.  So, the candy can be enjoyed long after the Halloween season has faded.

For those children with allergies, watch for the teal-colored pumpkins. The Teal Pumpkin Project offers allergy-free treat items for Halloween. Remember that Halloween is a time for making childhood memories that will last a lifetime.  The focus should always be on your children and family as a whole, not only on what they eat.

Get more tips for a fun and healthy Halloween:
Healthy Halloween Treats from Clemson University's Cooperative Extension
Alternative Halloween Treats for Kids from Parents Magazine
10 Healthy Halloween Treats for Kids from Everyday Health

Also enjoy these family-friendly recipes any time of year!

Halloween Kids image courtesy of Stuart Miles at