How-To: Healthy-ish Halloween

If your kid is too young to know about the pleasures of candy, you’ll have no trouble restricting her intake on Halloween. You might really enjoy watching her slobber over her first mini-Snickers bar and that will be the end of a very nice evening.

For those with toddlers and preschoolers, however, there may be some anxiety and power struggles over the candy situation. I once had a visiting 2-year old melt down in my entryway on Halloween night.

My son and I have a deal going. I’ll let him eat some candy along the way as we trick or treat. Then, when we get home, he gets to keep five pieces in the fridge, and the rest get set outside his bedroom door. Overnight they will magically turn into a toy. (We did this last year, too.) The remaining five pieces get consumed over the next five days, and then we’re on to the next thing.

The nice people at the company who make Pirate’s Booty sent me a few other tips. They encourage us to “be kind to other parents” by passing out a healthy low-fat snack (like, um, maybe Pirate’s Booty?) or a non-food item like glow sticks. (I love this idea!)

Also, pump your kids full of healthy food before they go to any candy fest neighborhood event. We had this kick-ass skeleton veggie tray last year.


And finally, if your kid is otherwise healthy, plays outside, eats fruits and veggies sometimes, you’ll just have to rest assured that it’s no big deal to have a few candy overdoses each year. When they’re older, Halloween will be a night filled with aerobic activity as they run around egging houses and stealing pumpkins.