It’s time to brace yourself for cold and flu season, not because of the colder weather, but because with tomorrow’s holiday we’ll have officially kicked off the high-sugar season. That’s what I’ve come to call the time between Halloween and Easter, and back in May I shared why. The article, “It’s Time for Sugar Mommas (and Daddies) to Rethink Breakfast, Snacks and Dessert” was inspired by reports that revealed the high amount of daily calories consumed by children from added sugar. When you understand the effects of sugar on the immune system, it’s clear to see why our kids suffer from colds, coughs, flus and other infections more during this time of year than any other.
It’s also motivation to take a look at your own child’s diet to find ways to creatively cut the added sugar and simple carbs. Before you call me a no-sugar-witch, I’m here to tell you that your kids don’t have to be limited to a bland diet to enjoy sweet treats! It does take some creativity and planning, however, to do it right!
Let’s take tomorrow’s holiday for example. Kid’s roaming the neighborhood collecting candy in mass quantities; it’s not uncommon for one child to bring home more candy than a whole family should eat in a year! In a sea of candy bars and suckers, I’m often surprised to see kids opt for the unconventional items they find in their bag of goodies. That’s where I take my cue! Here are a few examples:
Raisins: Yes, I know raisins are concentrated fruit, and as such are high in sugar, but it’s the natural kind. Plus, they have way more vitamins and minerals than your average piece of sugary candy so they get a pass from me on Halloween. Plus, those individual serving size boxes are pretty convenient!
Juice Boxes: Again, juice is high in sugar; however, if you’re diligent to purchase the 100% juice varieties, you’ve got a Tootsie Roll beat in terms of nutritional value. If you’re feeling creative, you can decorate your boxes to fit with the Halloween theme! Check out these cute juice box mummies made from crepe paper!
Boo-nanas: This is an easy and fun project (even the kids can help with this one). Purchase your bananas and add a scary face with a marker or stickers. We know fresh fruit in the trick-or-treat bag is sometimes looked upon with suspicion; however, if you’re like us your kids only visit the neighbors they know. As an extra measure, include a note in the bag with your name and phone number should any parent wish to call and confirm the origins of the treat.
Jack-o’-lanterns: These aren’t your typical carved pumpkins but are actually oranges (or you can use tangerines or clementines for something new). As with the Boo-nanas, just add a jack-o’-lantern face with a marker or stickers. Another fun and easy project for the kids!
Novelties: Don’t underestimate the appeal of toys (even small ones). The rubber spiders, skeleton rings, eyeball erasers and monster pencils are always fun and are enjoyed much longer than a miniature candy bar. This year we’re handing out glow sticks at our house…I’m pretty confident we’ve got a winner with that one!
What ideas do you have for healthy Halloween treats? I would love to know! Please post in the comments area below and let’s create a fun reference that parents can use for years to come.
P.S. We also invite you to make Healing Touch Chiropractic a stop on your trick-or-treat route this year! We’ve got some fun tricks and treats planned for the kids, plus a Halloween Costume Contest (grand prize is a $50 savings bond!). We’re located at 45 21st Avenue East, Unit D, in West Fargo. Hope to see you!