There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
Halloween is just around the corner!! It is by far my favourite time of the year. Dressing up, treats, pumpkin flavoured everything, eerie decorations, zombies, cheesy ghost and monster jokes (Q. What’s a monsters favourite bean? A. Human bean. hee hee) What’s not to love? Best part is, it’s not just for kids! 🙂
Have a Happy (and Healthy) Halloween!
It’s back…and it’s scary.
Well, at least if you’re a parent with one or more young children this Halloween, that is.
With two young boys, one of the biggest challenges my wife and I face this time of the year is deciding on how we are going to handle things AFTER the kids come back from Trick-or-Treating. Our eldest is 6 years old now, so with some trial and error we’ve just about figured things out, and we are definitely faster at getting prepared for this frightful-yet-fun occasion.
Location and route.
Preparation for the onslaught of sugary “goodness” when we get back home.
If you’re reading this, and you’re feeling even the slightest bit of anxiety towards the aftermath of Halloween, fear not! I’ve got some ideas for you that have helped us successfully manage things over the past few years – without any tears.
In the rest of this article, you’ll discover 2 secrets to making Halloween fun for you and your kids this year, and every year thereafter.
Secret #1: How to have kids leaving your house with treats in their bags and not toilet papering your front yard afterwards.
I agree that it’s really easy to go to your local store and pick up a jumbo crate of teensy-eensy chocolate bars and candies and dole them out at Halloween, but sometimes handing out things other than sweets can be even sweeter! Here are some alternate items you can hand out this Halloween:
- Play Dough or other small toys/games
- Temporary tattoos
- Balloons (the scarier the better!)
- Whistles and other noise making things
- Rubbers spiders, bugs and icky-sticky worms
- Plastic rings, bracelets and other costume jewellery
- Glow in the dark wristbands, sticks or necklaces
- Crayons, pencils, erasers and other school supplies
- Baseball or other collector’s cards
- Anything from the dollar store
If you’d rather hand out food this year, here are a few alternative and healthier ideas for you.
- Small bags of pretzels
- Granola bars
- Small packs of nuts or raisins
- Prepackaged fruits
- Packages of dry fruits and nuts
- Juice boxes
- Small bags of popcorn
(I have to admit that my kids LOVE it when they get small toys or trinkets at Halloween. They’d much rather prefer getting 30 to 50 TOYS instead of treats.)
Secret #2: How to manage your kid’s sugar intake while still having fun (and keeping your sanity in the weeks after).
Here’s the tougher part to Halloween. While you get to control what you give out at your front door, you have zero control or say as to what your neighbours will be handing out at theirs.
One of the first things that we do before we head out is we lay out the rules with our children.
Rule #1: Always stay beside mom or dad when we are walking from house to house. For those who have kids who are more independent and want to go up to houses on their own, I suggest that you tell him or her to make sure that they can always see you (and that you can see them).
Rule #2: Wait until we get home to inspect everything you’ve received. There are 2 reasons for this. First, it’s a safety thing, and second, it prepares your child to understand that there is a process afterwards that must still be followed.
Rule #3: Have fun!!!
Here’s a quick suggestion for you, as a parent or guardian, that will help you ensure that you don’t have bags and bags of candy and toys to go through. Plan your adventure to be 1 to 1.5 hours at the most. Don’t go out for several hours on end with your children in order to get 200 pounds of candy. You’re asking for trouble when you do this, and you also set a precedent that “more candy is better”.
Okay, once we all get home, we work with our kids on dividing up all the different types of candies into several categories. Examples of different categories can be:
- (and whatever else you think would be appropriate)
When you’ve finished categorizing everything, decide on what candies you are going to allow your child to consume and, over time, let them pick one large piece or 2 small pieces at a time. It’s best that you spread this out over time; don’t give your child a selection each and every day, but rather stick to Fridays and weekends if possible. Giving too much candy at one time will spike their blood sugar levels, resulting in additional craving and potentially undesired behavioural shifts that many kids experience when they gorge on sugar
Like our family, you can also choose to donate some of the candy rations to other children or organizations. This teaches them how important it is to share and bring smiles to others.
Lastly, all candy should be stored in the kitchen, out of the reach of the kids. This lessens any temptations to sneak a snack here and there behind Mom and Dad’s back.
Have a wonderfully fun and safe Halloween this year!
Spooky Recipe Ideas for Halloween:
Here are some fun, healthy and quick snack ideas for Halloween events. These are simple and are great to have the kids help out with.
Disguises aren’t just for Halloween. Surprise your family with these dressed-up, spooky-looking snacks any time of year. Kids can help by spooning the pizza sauce on the English muffin and making the mummy face with the cheese and vegetables.
- English muffins
- Pizza sauce
- Black olives
- Red or green pepper
- Cheese sticks or slices
- Heat the oven to 350º F. For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin (toast it first, if you like).
- Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green onion or bits of red or green pepper for pupils.
- Lay strips of cheese (we used a pulled-apart cheese stick) across the muffin for the mummy’s wrappings.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.
These toothsome treats are a fun and healthy break from Halloween sweets.
- Slivered almonds
- Just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.
- Tips:If you’re not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning.
- GMO Right to know rally – October 16 http://cogtoronto.org/COG_Toronto/Events.html
- Bring food home conference – October 27-29 http://bringfoodhome.com/
Did You Know…
When you were born you had over 300 bones. As you grew, some of these bones began to fuse together. The result? An adult has only 206 bones!