Ask an Expert – Tricks and Treats for a Healthy Halloween


USU Extension Press Release

The abundance of sweets at Halloween makes it easy to over-indulge. Whether you’re a trick-or-treater, a party host or the stay-at-home crew, here are a few tips to make Halloween healthier. 

For Trick-or-Treaters

* Fill up first. A well-balanced meal before Halloween festivities will provide nutrition, help curb cravings and hopefully prevent your child from eating too much candy.

* Focus on the experience. Instead of focusing on the candy, have fun with costumes, admire the spooky Halloween decor, enjoy visiting with people in the neighborhood and sing Halloween songs as you walk around. Enjoy a treat or two, but avoid candy being the focus of your festivities.

* Get moving. To help combat the extra calories consumed, walk with your kids instead of driving them from house to house. Consider setting goals for how far you’ll walk or compete to see who walks the most steps.

For Party Hosts

* Have fun with food. Healthy snacks dressed up with a Halloween theme can be just as fun as sugary treats. Visit the Create Better Health blog for Healthy Halloween recipes.

* Keep guests on their feet. Include games that will get people up and moving. A zombie dance party, musical chairs to Halloween music or a pumpkin toss are all fun ways to encourage movement.

* Rethink the drink. We often forget about the extra calories in beverages. Offer water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. You can make it fancy with sparkling water and a splash of 100% orange juice, garnished with orange slices and berries.

For the Stay-At-Home Crew

* Save some candy for the trick-or-treaters. As you sit at home waiting for the doorbell, you may find your hand wandering to the candy bowl. Set the bowl across the room so you won’t have such easy access to it.

* Don’t be afraid to be that house. Most kids are just as happy with a healthy snack or a non-edible item. Hand out snack-sized bags of pretzels or popcorn or 100% juice boxes. Pencils, stickers, and friendship bracelets are also good ideas for non-food items.

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