Make Halloween a Little Healthier
Halloween has changed a lot since I was a kid. Back in the day everybody made their own costumes (normally from a black plastic sack), there were no decorations, you asked neighbours to ‘help the Halloween party’ rather than saying ‘trick or treat’ and you usually came back from doing the rounds with a bag full of apples, nuts, mandarins and only if you were really lucky did you get raisins or homemade popcorn. Sweets were the Holy Grail and it was only the rare house that would be giving any out. Needless to say, as word got around that there was a house giving away sweets all the kids of the neighbourhood descended on the house meaning they were cleaned out pretty quickly.
When you got home from going around the neighbourhood you had to have the nut cracker ready to break open the hazelnuts and walnuts and your fingers would be sore from pinching monkey nuts opens. Come to think of it, it was hard work!
Fast forward twenty (ahem!)-odd years and it’s a different ball game. Costumes are sold everywhere, houses are decorated with ghosts, cobwebs and carved pumpkins and kids come home with treat bags brimming with fun-sized chocolate bars or bags of sweets.
With childhood obesity here in Ireland rapidly on the increase, we have to look at holidays such as Halloween and think of ways they can still be fun for kids without them revolving around all the crap sugar laden ‘treats’.
So here are my tips for making Halloween a little healthier for kids:
Instead of giving out chocolate or sweets, why not give out non-food treats? There are so many places to buy inexpensive treats that kids will love such as:
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Mini sets of pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Stickers with gouls and ghosts
- Transfer tattoos
- A bottle of bubbles
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Novelty toys
- Halloween accessories like vampire fangs or rubber spiders
- Book marks
If you are having a Halloween party, there are loads of treats you can make for kids that still are fun but are that bit healthier than the normal party fare. Here’s a few that I’ve seen on the internet that look easy to do:
Instead of toffee apples, why not try dark chocolate dipped apples?
These tangerine pumpkins and banana ghosts look so cute and ridiculously easy!
Spooky (but tasty) witches fingers
And can’t forget these monster mouths
While I don’t have kids myself, I think I may just give these a try anyway!!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on healthy Halloween treats and recipes.