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Healthy Halloween

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Do your children race around like monsters and demons long after the makeup and masks have been removed and the jack-o-lantern candle blown out? They're not possessed with the spirit of Halloween'it's only the sugar. This year, why not celebrate Halloween differently?

Do your children race around like monsters and demons long after the makeup and masks have been removed and the jack-o-lantern candle blown out? They're not possessed with the spirit of Halloween it's only the sugar. This year, why not celebrate Halloween differently?

If you'd like to celebrate a healthier Halloween, discuss some options with your children. Remind them of the effects sugar has on their bodies and minds. Organizing a Halloween party for like-minded families can be an enjoyable way to monitor children's candy intake. Ask parents to bring healthy Halloween treats, and while the children play games, adults can divide the treats into bags for each child. This way the children will take home a good quantity of treats and still have fun on Halloween.

Getting Treats

Your children might agree to collect money for UNICEF, your local food bank, or another charity instead of asking for treats. If they're set on trick or treating, however, take them to friends' houses where you know healthy treats will be offered, or stop trick or treating when a small container, such as a plastic jack-o-lantern, has been filled. You can also buy treats from your children, offering them several cents per treat. This allows your children to purchase a toy or healthy treat with their bounty. As a last resort, allow your child a small amount of candy on Halloween night, and dole out a treat once in a while thereafter.

Giving Treats

When trick-or-treaters knock at your door, you can offer them healthy treats like boxed raisins, sugarless fruit leathers, small packets of rice crackers or soy crisps, trail mix, dry-roasted almonds, packs of microwaveable popcorn, small packages of healthy chips, natural gum or mints, fruit and vegetable bars, healthy granola, nut, or seed bars, soy nuts, and tetra-packs of healthy juice or soy milk. Although homemade treats are frowned upon, if you know the families in your neighbourhood well enough, why not bake some healthy cookies or granola bars?

Inedible Treats

Comic books are often a well-received treat and can be bought in bundles for a low price at your local comic shop. Other inedible options include erasers, pencils, stickers, small books, buttons, or pins, mini games, such as spinning tops or rubber balls, foam airplanes, or plastic animals. You can usually find these at dollar stores, often for less than a dollar. Don't forget a dish of coins for those collecting for charity.

Settle the Scary Monsters

If your child still ends up feeling the effects of a sugar-overload, supplementing with spirulina or brewer's yeast can help control out-of-whack blood sugar levels. But by allowing Halloween's excesses to last only one evening and reminding your children that treats are not everyday occurrences, the howling and screaming may last only while they're still wearing their scary costumes.

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