Halloween: it’s for fun, families, parties and goodies. Which is wonderful, until the sugar lows hit, the tantrums emerge and the whole family is feeling worse for it. According to Catherine Burns, ‘the average trick or treater will come home with 600g of sugar…that’s approximately 15 teaspoons per child’!
It’s not realistic to say no all the time, so how can you reduce your family’s sugar intake without limiting the fun? Here’s how we plan to strike a happy balance…
#1: Switch out that sugar with Susie Switch!
We love Catherine’s ‘Susie Switch Witch’ poem which promotes the idea of switching out candy for different types of treats that don’t make your kids feel like they’re missing out. Read the poem below or click here to print it off:
Have you met Susie Switch Witch?
She wears a crooked hat
She’s on the hunt for candy
To feed her naughty bats
They like the brightest lollipops
The green chews and the blue
And if you have some bubblegum
They’ll really want that too!
After trick or treating
Pick out some things to keep
And then put in a bucket, things
To swap while you’re asleep
Then only when you’re snoozing
Susie will drop in
She’ll take out all the candy
And who knows what she’ll put in?
You might wake up and find a toy
Maybe a book or bear?
Something for your piggy bank?
A funny game to share?
So put aside some candy
For Susie’s bats to eat
And in the morning you will find
A different kind of treat!
#2: Fill them up before heading out
A great way to limit your kids’ intake of sugar without them even knowing is to fill them up before they head out. Here are some easy, healthy recipes which should do just the ‘trick’…
Toxic Waste Mac N’ Cheese – A Bermy favourite with a spooky green twist!
Ghost Pizza Bagels – Quick, easy and a guaranteed crowd pleaser
Low Carb Halloween Chips – A treat which all the family might love!
Snake Breadsticks – So simple and easy to customise with herbs or cheese
Banana Ghost Pops Recipe – Just 4 yummy ingredients included!
Nut-Free Apple Monsters – Nut free and nutritious, these are perfect for school
#3: Keep and Give
Your kids will want to keep some candy. We suggest letting them choose their favourite treats to keep and then encouraging them to think of a charity of their choice to donate the rest to, e.g. the hospital or an old people’s home. They will get to keep their favourites and learn about giving at the same time.
#4: Buy Candy You Don’t Like
After trick or treating is over, you will probably have some leftover candy…which is hard to resist. To help limit your indulgence, buy candy you and your kids don’t like too much to make it easier to give away.
#5 Buy Small Bags
Your kids will be focused on filling their bags up, so buy small sized bags and that will help you to limit the haul.
#6 Keep Moving
The great thing about Trick or Treating is that you’re on your feet…make this an exercise opportunity by challenging the kids to get round as many houses as possible and host fun activities like a zombie dance party or pumpkin toss that keeps everyone moving. You could even wear a fitness tracker as you chaperone your little ones around and set a steps goal for the evening!
Above all, Halloween is about having fun as a family and enjoying life in balance. We wish you all a wonderful time…and for your decorations, treats (including healthy options) and costumes don’t forget to pop into People’s, we have it all!
With thanks to the food bloggers and American Heart Association whose ideas helped to inform this post.