Halloween is coming quickly and I’ve got my little goblins nearly ready for the big day! We’ve been hunting for costumes, gluing on Dalmatian spots, and trying to the keep Power Ranger sword intact and out of the 3-year old’s hands before the big day arrives. I’ll be rushing from the office to the school for costume changes, parade and party, have a quick dinner before we regroup, and then head to Roundtree neighborhood for an epic night of trick-or-treating. Not to mention, I’m going to try to pull off a costume of my own. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
This is always a tricky holiday when in the battle of the dietitian world versus real-world mom. In my schooling we were taught to work hard against restricting foods. With more restriction, one begins to put food onto a pedestal and that creates issues of its own. On the other hand, parents know that if candy is a total free-for-all then kids would be bouncing off the walls, have rotten teeth, and tummy aches galore.
Here are some quick tips for surviving the season if you have little ones:
- Those upcoming parties don’t need to be centered on foods that just include sugar. Think about foods that can fit your spooky theme that actually have some health benefits! Black Lentils, black beans (add some cumin – yum!), blackberries, raisins, dark purple grapes, mandarin oranges, baby carrots, sweet potatoes, orange bell peppers, or use a cookie cutter in the shape of a pumpkin to cut shapes out of cheese slices.
- I try to steer my little ones toward chewing gum (now that they’re old enough to not swallow it). I figure that if they’re chewing gum while looking at their loot then they’re less likely to eat more candy. Sneaky, I know.
- There are also other options for trick-or-treaters such as string cheese, small apples, fruit cups, or Cuties. Be sure to inspect your kiddo’s treats thoroughly to make sure everything is sealed and safe. You can also try some non-food items such as glow sticks, bubbles, fun pencils, or stickers.
There are so many easy, fun options out there for your little ones this season. Above all else, it’s important to have fun. People tell me I will miss these days, and in the midst of all the chaos, I don’t always believe them. But, I do believe we will have fun. ☺
by Jessica Miller, Price Cutter Dietitian