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Child in costume holding jack-o'-lantern bucket full of Halloween candy

10 Simple Ways to Make Your Halloween Healthier

You’re in the Halloween spirit with decorative pumpkins and hayrides, but as trick-or-treating looms, potential cavities, weight gain and energy crashes are all you can think about. Here are 10 ways you can help your family avoid too much sugar while also enjoying a spook-tacular Halloween.

Candy is inevitable. Here’s how to have maximum fun with a little less sugar this year:

1. Practice moderation.

Candy and treats around Halloween and the holidays are a fact of life, and it could be tough to put an all or nothing rule in place. Let your children pick a favorite treat each day and limit it to one — after they’ve finished dinner. This will start your healthy halloween on the right track.

2. Fill up first.

Provide your family balanced and satisfying meals with vegetables, protein and plenty of water throughout the day. They’ll have less room for the sugary stuff.

3. Inspect their treats.

Safety is most important, so as soon as your little ones get home from trick-or-treating, take a look to make sure their candy is unopened and not expired.

4. Be that (healthy) house.

Some kids may grumble, but you’re doing them a lifelong favor. Choose non-edible treats to give out like glow sticks or erasers, or choose healthful alternatives like single-serve raisin boxes or sugar-free chewing gum.

5. Set a steps goal.

Put your Fitbit to good use and get your family involved. Set a steps goal and give your kids updates on progress as you all continue to gather treats on Halloween night.

6. Skip trick-or-treating.

Many communities offer costume parties, bobbing for apples, pumpkin painting and fall festivals that don’t revolve around candy.

7. Think fresh.

In the fall, Columbus has an abundance of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Bring your family to a local farmers market to fill their own treat bag.

8. Make creative snacks.

Find Halloween-inspired snacks on Pinterest to make with kiddos, treats like apples slices with peanut butter middles and yogurt-raisin teeth, or banana “ghosts” with raisin eyes.

9. Learn about Halloween history.

Choose simple Halloween lessons and crafts, or tell spooky ghost stories with your older children. Change the focus of Halloween from candy to learning.

10. Toss it.

After a couple of weeks, new candy loses its luster. Get rid of the candy they haven’t opened by donating it or using it during crafts.

Learn how to cut sugar out of your diet everyday – not just on halloween. Use our tips for healthier eating.