Halloween has turned into a celebration of refined sugar. It can be difficult to help children make healthy decisions, especially when they don’t want to miss out on the fun of trick-or-treating with friends. Two Alabama Extension nutrition professionals have tips to make Halloween a fun and healthy celebration that children will love.
“Treasures, not treats” is the rule that Teresa Forehand lives by. As a regional nutrition agent for Alabama Extension, Forehand is an expert in healthy eating. “Treasures are fun for children and can make the day special,” she said. “Little prizes can be cheap, and provide fun long after Halloween is over.” Small Halloween-themed toys, vampire fangs, glow-in-the-dark jewelry, jump ropes, magnets or coupons for the skating rink are all kid-approved prizes.
Another suggestion is to set up your own Halloween store. Forehand said “Let children go trick-or-treating, then let them swap their unhealthy treats for healthy treats. You can provide a variety of choices for them to pick from, including organic candy.” Forehand said that organic treats (including gummy bears, lollipops and gummy worms) can be purchased online, and cut down on added sugar. She also recommends healthier food items, such as apple slices, roasted nuts and fresh fruit.