Halloween is right around the corner and that means spooky decorations, creepy costumes, and a whole lot of unhealthy snacks. For parents trying to encourage healthy choices for their children, Halloween can seem like an overwhelming challenge. While trick-or-treating focuses primarily on the consumption of candy packed with sugar, calories, and fat, there are ways that parents can help their children choose the right snacks without sacrificing the fun.
Youth Programs teamed up with NAC RD, Kelly Jones, to find some healthy whole food alternatives to the sugary snacks that are common around Halloween. Additionally, Kidfit Coordinator, Meredith Deal, has added some spooky ways for kids to get active while showing off their Halloween spirit. Check out the following ways to turn this frightfully unhealthy holiday into a fun, family event!
Trick or Treat, What to Eat
- Banana Ghosts: Cut one banana in half. Take three dark chocolate chips and stick into the pointed end to make a face with two eyes and a mouth. Stick a popsicle stick in the bottom for easy eating. Bonus idea: Stick your banana ghosts in the freezer for 4 hours for a frozen dessert treat.
- Clementine Pumpkins: This snack is easy and delicious and can even be packed in your child’s school lunch. Peel the rind completely off of a clementine. Then cut a piece of celery to about 3 inches long. Stick the celery in the middle hole of the clemetine to create a mini pumpkin. Kids will love this naturally sweet treat and won’t even miss the candy.
- Ghoulish Pizza: Pizza doesn’t have to be a frightful food! Grab some low fat mozzarella cheese, whole wheat dough, and a pizza sauce not loaded with extra sugars and additives. Roll out the dough and add on the pizza sauce. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Use a ghost-shaped cookie cutter to slice your cheese to add some Halloween spirit. Add the ghosts onto the pizza and bake for 5 more minutes.
Check out Kelly’s “Eat Right Kids” board on Pinterest for more holiday-themed snacks that kids will love!
Fun & Festive Fitness
- Musical Pumpkins: An old favorite with a new twist. Placing a series of pumpkins around a large area turn on the music, have each kid hop over pumpkins one at a time, leap from style, while the music plays. There should be one less pumpkin than there are children so that when the music stops, anyone without a pumpkin is out.
- Freeze Dance Monsters: Turn on the Monster Mash song and have the running around like their favorite monsters: Frankenstein, Zombies, Dracula, etc. and when the music stops they have to freeze in whatever position they’re in.
- Vampire Tag: We start with one vampire who is “it.” The other players are running around trying to avoid being “bit.” In order to bite another player, the vampire gently squeezes the arm. If you get “bit” than you become a vampire and help tag others. The last person standing without a “bite” becomes the vampire in the next round.