It's almost Halloween, a day animated mainly by children, costumes, imagination, and tons of candy. Avoiding sweets can look like a healthy option but it might not be the best strategy, since candy are very much part of this tradition. Here are some tips to keep this party fun and healthy.
The balance is played throughout the year
A balanced diet throughout the year has a greater impact on the health of children than a Halloween party full of candy. Non the less, serving healthy snacks before children get their hands on candies is a great trick. They will replenish nutrients and feel satiated. Favouring seasonal fruits and vegetables before sweets can also satisfy sugar cravings due to their natural sugar and fibre content.
Here are some suggestions to make those snacks even more appealing than candy:
Choose orange fruits and vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, squash, clementine, orange, etc.)
Mimick slim with guacamole
Use essential foods to turn them into Halloween creatures
Serve naturally sweetened beverages
Provide homemade treats for children to help themselves to
Serve the meal before the candy hunt
A balanced meal or snack before the candy hunt is a good solution to prevent your kids from rushing for candy. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, nut spreads or hummus are the best options. If your kids aren't hungry when they leave, they'll be less likely to overindulge in candy when they get home.
For your children to best manage the harvest of treats, give them a small bag that will be filled more quickly, reducing the number of candies they bring back home.
When the party is over, encourage conscious enjoyment of the treats without restrictive deprivation. If you store the candies in a place out of sight, children will quickly forget them. Another trick is to mix leftover candies with nuts and a few pretzels to make homemade trail mix.
Make themed homemade treats
Making your own Halloween treats helps manage the amount of sugar, food quality, and nutritional value. Fruits, vegetables, nuts or whole grains are great options, and homemade is always healthier than industrial products or candy.
Plus, homemade treats are a great way to get the whole family involved and make Halloween a little healthier.
Popcorn mixed with cinnamon or fresh fruit covered in chocolate are healthier alternatives to candy. Opt for squash pastries, cinnamon roasted pumpkin seeds, or pumpkin puree and chocolate chip muffins.
Here are some other snack ideas:
Hot apple juice with cinnamon sticks
Energy balls with dates and squash
Baked apples or pears with cinnamon, nuts and honey
Chocolate-covered banana ghost popsicles
Turn sliced bananas into ghosts, and add two chocolate chips for eyes.
Prepare a vegan caramel sauce: mix dates, soaked and pitted, to obtain a delicious caramel with natural sugar. Enjoy with apple slices, a drizzle of nut butter and dark chocolate chips.
Turn clementines or tangerines into pumpkins: peel them and add a thinly sliced celery stalk in the centre.
Cut some fruit into slices and add two chocolate chips for “eyes”, to fix with nut butter.
Make this Halloween a time to teach your child to enjoy special treats, in moderation, as part of a healthy diet.
Nutrition and zero waste tip:
As you carve your pumpkin, save the flesh to make a soup or puree to add to your desserts and treats. The seeds are also highly nutritious and a great snack for school. Just roasted in the oven with cinnamon and a little sugar. They'll love it!
Article written by certified nutritionist Aurelia Corbaz