LHI Tip of the Week – Have a Happy & Healthy Halloween!

four_pumpkins_470x3532The ghosts and goblins will be out in full force as Begger’s Night and Halloween are upon us! Kids are looking forward to this special night when they are no longer little boys and girls, but crime fighting superheros, beautiful princesses, spell casting witches and of course, minions. Year after year, parents face the dilemma of living a healthy lifestyle and allowing their kids to participate in this candy collecting holiday. What to do, what to do? Here are a few ways to have a fun Halloween without throwing your family’s healthy habits to the wayside!

Talk to your children about how much fun your family will have on Begger’s Night! Talk about walking around the neighborhood with your friends and neighbors, seeing all the cool Halloween costumes and spooky decorations on the houses. Try not to focus on the candy. Limit the number of streets you go down and houses you stop at. Your family doesn’t have to hit every house in the neighborhood. Instead visit the houses you know and encourage your children to show off their costume to their neighbors, rather than just grabbing the best candy bars and dashing to the next house.

Parents should have a plan for what they will do with the children’s candy at the end of the night. There are many ways to monitor your children’s candy consumption while still maintaining your family’s healthy lifestyle. When the night is over, tell your kids that you will store their candy for them rather than allowing them to have access as often as they would like. Decide what is the best way for your family to administer candy – without using it as a reward. Parents can allow their kids to pick out a few pieces of their favorite candy that they want to keep and donate the rest to your local food pantry. I’ve even heard of kids putting their candy by the front door before bed for “The Great Pumpkin” to take during the night. Allow your kids to trade in their candy for the opportunity to do something they really enjoy, like going to see a movie in the theater, having a sleepover with a friend or family member, having a special day with mom, dad or another adult in their life. A special day could include visiting the park, doing crafts, picking apples at the apple orchard or other fun fall activities.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that moderation is a strong component of a healthy lifestyle. Allow your children to enjoy the holiday with a few pieces of candy, without the chance to indulge endlessly. Be positive and creative! Living a healthy lifestyle is all about being active, fueling your body with healthy foods and enjoying life!

How does your family monitor candy consumption on Halloween? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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The Iowa Sports Foundation mission is to provide sports, recreation, health and wellness opportunities for Iowans of all abilities.
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