Halloween is right around the corner! It’s a time for families to decorate their homes, dress up, go trick or treating, and stock up on candy. Typically, healthy and Halloween are not commonly used together. What can be healthy about bringing home buckets of candy? However, there is more to health than just the foods we consume. Being healthy has to do with the behaviors and the environment we form around food. Letting yourself or your kids listen to their body and consume candy is an important aspect in developing a healthy relationship with food.
For myself, Halloween was a time to dress up, hang out with friends, make treats, and watch Halloween movies. I remember going to the store and buying matching Halloween costumes for my friends and myself. On the nights leading up to Halloween, we would get together to bake treats, watch movies, and decorate pumpkins. On the night of Halloween, we ran around our neighborhood trying to see who got the most candy. At the end of trick or treating, we would dump our candy on the floor and trade candies with each other trying to negotiate for the best pieces. These memories are what allow me to have a happy and healthy mindset around Halloween.
Instead of creating a negative stigma around candy, it is important to note that all foods are good in moderation. Allowing yourself and your children to have fun with Halloween candy, as well as to engage in fun Halloween activities, all help to form positive behaviors and environments. Here are 3 ways to balance, embrace, and have fun with Halloween.
- Include a nutrient dense meal first
Enjoy a proper meal before the candy or treats. This meal allows you to fit in those nutrient
dense foods before getting full on candy. Focus on a meal that contains fruits or vegetables,
grains, and protein. After giving your body the nutrients it needs, the candy can provide
- Practice moderation
Utilize proper mindset when approaching food. All foods are good in proper proportions,
including candy. Allowing yourself to have a couple pieces of candy a day, can result in one
feeling more in control and having a better relationship with foods and activities, like Halloween.
- Get in the spirit
Halloween should be fun and exciting. Getting in the spirit and embracing the festivities of
Halloween can allow for better enjoyment and a positive environment around discussions of
Halloween. (Rather than always fixating on the candy overload). Try decorating or carving
pumpkins, and roasting the pumpkin seeds is a delicious and nutrient dense snack. Corn mazes,
haunted houses and scary movies are all other fun ways to celebrate this fun fall season!
Content Submitted by Jessica Roy MS, RD, LDN and Rebecca Littman, Nutrition Intern