Halloween can be a daunting time for us “healthy ones.” Luckily I don’t have to worry about taking kids trick-or-treating this year but a lot of our patients and a lot of my readers do so here’s a quick guide to help limit the sugar in your kids’ systems:
Set an example by handing out “healthy candy.” However, DO NOT be the house on the block that gives out carrots or raisins. Some ideas for treats most kids love:
^Popcorn Balls – you do have to cook for this one but it’s really easy and they’re delicious.
^ Fruit strips – made of dried fruit and a replacement for fruit roll ups, they can be bought at pretty much any grocery store.
^Cocomels – from JJ Sweets, they are healthy and yummy. A bit expensive maybe to give to all the kids but a great idea for your own or even for Christmas gifts.
^ String cheese – what kid doesn’t love string cheese.
^ Natural Gummies – Surf Sweets sells a great version of natural gummy treats in the shape of spiders! But any natural gummi treat will do. I know this was one of my favorites when I scored on these as a kid.
^ Trail Mix – make your own with your choice of almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. Be sure to throw some chocolate in there (dark is best) so the kids don’t feel like they’re totally deprived!
^Crispy Rice Treats – click the link to find a great recipe from a fellow blogger. However, I highly encourage you to use healthy marshmallows with less sugar and cereal without any kind of ingredient with -ose on the end (ie. fructose, sucrose, etc).
Note: If you’re making the treats yourself, include a note to the kids parent’s of the ingredients so they don’t think it’s spiked.
Now, it’s inevitable that your kids get your hands on a fair amount of candy this time of year but how do you keep them from riding that sugar high for 12 weeks afterwards? I do not have kids so I really have NO IDEA, but I do have a couple of suggestions!
1. Give them a vacation night. Let them eat the candy. Let them work themselves into a sugar-induced coma. But while they’re there, ask them how they are feeling. Make them realize that the candy is making them sluggish, over-full, and cranky with a headache. Don’t harp on them, but for 5 minutes just try to help them realize the effect of the candy.
2. After their coma, give them incentives to “trade” the candy. For every 10 pieces, they don’t have to do their chore for the day. Something like that.
3. Ask them if they’d rather spend some time with you, cooking something else delicious that won’t make them feel like crap. Then proceed to make an awesome, fun desert (like the popcorn balls or crispy rice treats listed above) to make them feel that this is so much better.
Ok those are a few suggestions from a child-less 24 year-old. I hope they help a little bit! And I hope you all have an awesome Halloween!
What will you and/or your kids be dressing up as?