Every October 31st, children suit up in costumes and take to the streets going door-to-door trick-or-treating in search for something sweet to eat. Everyone has their favourite choice of candy, but according to a poll conducted by Maclean's Halloween Treat Ranker, the candy king here in Canada, is the Kit Kat bar.
While there's nothing wrong with enjoying a Kit Kat bar every now and then—remember, it’s important to maintain balance in your diet. This balance tends to be forgotten this time of year when otherwise healthy individuals go a little overboard with the amount of candy they consume. And surprise, surprise… it isn't just children eating all the candy—parents snack on it as well, often swiping it from the loaded sacks their kids spent all night filling!
Every year Halloween haunts both parents and kids like a ghoul in the night bent on devouring their health goals and increasing the risk of dreaded cavities.
But there’s hope!
Instead of handing out sugar-loaded bars and candy this Halloween, why not jazz things up and make trick-or-treating and party hosting a bit healthier for everyone?
Opt for healthier treats
Most candy these days is loaded with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oil. Kick these treats to the curb and opt instead for real food. Popcorn, for example, is all-natural and high in fiber. Additionally, you may want to distribute pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, which substitute sweetness for saltiness.
Exercise portion control
For one reason or another, more and more homeowners are leaving candy out for kids to grab as much as they want. Instead, keep the bowl inside if you can and distribute just one or two pieces for each trick-or-treater. This will not only ensure every trick-or-treater gets a piece, it will also get you up and moving, helping you to reach that daily step count goal you’ve been working towards!
Have frightful fun with fruit
You wouldn't know it by looking at them, but bananas make for great ghosts and oranges can double as tabletop pumpkins. In addition to the peeled fruit, all you need is some chocolate bits and cut up celery sticks. Try serving some of these healthy, Halloween-themed treats if you're hosting a party.
Don't drive, walk your kids door-to-door
Exercise is important to fit into your busy schedule. You can do this rather easily by trick-or-treating with your kids. Not only is this another great way to get more steps in your day, it’s also a great opportunity to spend time with your kids!
Steer clear of suckers and stickies
Not all candy is built the same, especially when it comes to its impact on teeth. For example, the worst offenders are the "sticky" variety, such as caramels, lollipops, gummies and taffy. These stick to the teeth more than chocolate, making it more difficult to remove by regular brushing and flossing. They're also highly acidic, which can weaken tooth enamel. Instead, choose treats that are crunchy, such as pretzels, nuts or whole-wheat crackers.
This year, put a little health in Halloween. You just might create a new tradition that friends and family will scream for.