Halloween is my favorite holiday and it’s definitely not because of the candy. I love the autumn season, the fun of dressing up and the silly, scary mood of the celebration. If you’re like many parents who dread having their children gather bagfuls of sugary treats, why not try a different way to celebrate Halloween this year?
Honestly, I think for most kids the candy is secondary to what they really enjoy–the fun of costumes! Think about how much time is spent by your little one deciding what he/she wants to be this year. It’s easy to avoid the candy part of the holiday, but still have the fun of dressing up if you host a costume party. Include fun games like bobbing for apples or painting/carving pumpkins. Plus, there’s so many healthy, yet fun and tasty party treats you can serve. Caramel apples, edible eyeballs (carrot chunks with a blob of cream cheese and half a black pitted olive) or homemade apple cider are items your partygoers will love. You can even set up an apple dipping bar with toppings like chopped nuts and peanut butter.
Another way to avoid candy, but still make the holiday fun for your kids is to make your house the neighborhood “spooky house” for Halloween. Get your kids to help decorate your home with fake cobwebs and lit Jack ‘O Lanterns. Play eerie music when it’s time for trick or treat and enlist them to help pass out the treats, but have them dress up as something spooky to go along with the theme. You might want to also consider passing out individual bags of mini pretzels so you won’t mind your kids feasting on what may be left over.
Finally, you can opt to make Halloween family time. If you live near a farm, many host bonfires or hay rides this time of year. Depending on how old your kids are, you can visit a local haunted house attraction (a little advice–do some research beforehand–some are very scary, even for adults!). Or, rent a spooky movie and gather in the family room together. You can turn the lights off and have the room only lit by Jack O’ Lanterns to add to the “mood.”
My guess is if you make the holiday fun, your kids won’t miss the candy. If you have other ideas for spending the holiday candy-free, please share them by commenting on this blog. Happy Halloween!!