A sugar-free Halloween? Halloween is one of those holidays where sugar and candy are the stars of the show! How on earth can you get away from it? If you’d like to eliminate or simply reduce the amount of sugar at Halloween, here are some things you can do and still celebrate Halloween - enjoying the holiday without the kids feeling like they are ‘missing out.’
Go to the Candy Buy Back - Dr. Evans of Evans Dental Health hosts a Candy Buy Back each year the day after Halloween. He offers $1 per pound of candy. We take all of our candy and the kids get to keep the money and go buy a book or something else that they would like. The Candy Buy Back takes place on November 1, 2012, from 4:30 to 7:30pm at the Market Mall Professional Buildling - 234 - 4935, 40 Avenue NW. For more information, contact 403-286-2622.
Attend a special event - Calgary hosts many events during Halloween, such as the Calgary Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo and Heritage Park’s Ghouls’ Night Out. There are usually games, crafts and haunted houses for kids of all ages. There are also many other great community events around the city. For a comprehensive listing of spooktacular, family-friendly Halloween happenings, check out the events calendar on this website.
Prepare a healthy, fun dinner before trick-or-treating - Giving the kids a healthy dinner with a sweet, yummy treat at the end will reduce the amount of treats your kids want to eat because they will feel full and satisfied. You can make fun things, too, like mini monster pizzas and a skeleton veggie tray. For more fun ideas, visit www.familyfun.go.com.
Host a Halloween party - You create the treats for the kids. There are lots of ideas available to make healthy things fun and appealing, like apple bites or boo-nanas. There are also cookie and muffin recipes that you can make without sugar, some of which you can find on my blog at www.mommaonthemove.ca. Add some games and spooky crafts, too, and it’s a hauntingly good time!
Decorate the house - Get the kids to make Halloween crafts and decorations to create the spooky or fun house that you want.
Create fun food - Have a whole day of fun meals. How about pumpkin pancakes for breakfast in Halloween shapes?! Williams-Sonoma sells Halloween pancakes molds, pumpkin smoothies for a snack and mini monster pizzas for dinner.
Snacks on the go - When you go to all of the fun Halloween events this year, bring your own sugar-free treats for the kids. That way, they bypass the sugary treats that are being handed out.
By doing some or all of these things for Halloween, the kids will start to look forward to the activities, and then the trick-or-treating does not become the main event. It will create happier, healthier children and as a result, calmer, happier parents, too!
Did you know? The holiday of Halloween originates from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest season. Activities would include bonfires, masks and costumes to appease/hide from evil spirits, as they believed that the boundaries between the worlds were thinner on October 31. Trick-or-treating stems from poor folks going house to house on Halloween night asking for food in exchange for prayers for deceased loved ones.
Carmen is a writer, and mother of two-year-old twins and an eight-year-old son. She is passionate about her children, the outdoors and the well-being of all. She blogs regularly on a variety of family topics at www.mommaonthemove.ca.
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