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Halloween: Enjoy a healthier Halloween
Eat before trick-or-treating. Pick the right sized collection bag. The American Heart Assocation offers these and other tips to have a healthier Halloween.Posted — Updated
By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Halloween is now less than a week away!
Here are some tips from the American Heart Association to keep Halloween a little healthier.
- Eat a healthy meal before you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.
- Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!
- Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100% juice juice boxes, snack sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, or coupons to local frozen yogurt stores. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
- Bring a flash light while walking, only go to houses with the porch light on, inspect candy before allowing children to eat it, and be on your way home before the street lights come on.
- Remember to stay in groups when trick-or-treating. Don’t allow your child to walk up to a house alone and always keep a watchful eye on where they are headed next. Use sidewalks when available, and use crosswalks when crossing busier streets.
- Find the right sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillow case method.
- Want to avoid candy and masses of kids? Dress your family up in their costumes and go see a movie, go to the toy store and have your child pick out their favorite toy, see if local malls have trick-or-treat within the stores. Local police and fire stations may offer this alternative as well.
And tips to avoid gobbling up lots of candy after Halloween:
- Avoid the urge to buy candy that's on sale in the grocery stores after Halloween.
- After the big night, pick out enough candy for one piece a day for five days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts, or celery.
- “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity such as a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at a local park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
- Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients so be on the lookout for that option!
You can find more health tips from the American Heart Association at www.heart.org/healthierkids.
For more Halloween tips, crafts, recipes and information, including our Go Ask Mom Halloween and fall fun guide (with details on all those mall trick-or-treat hours), click here.
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