Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love to see the leaves change, I love the change to cooler weather. Along with fall comes a series of holidays, and we’re getting really close to the first: Halloween.

There have been big changes to how Halloween is celebrated over the past few years. It has started to feel like everyone loves, loves, loves Halloween, so everyone has a party, or a parade, or a trick-or-treat/trunk-or-treat event. There are events at the mall, in the neighborhood, at church, and at school. Some of these events are for the adults, but the majority of them are for children, and load the kids up with tons of candy and other sugary treats.

Keeping a Balance

My approach is keep 80% of your life healthy and then you can indulge in the other 20%. The problem with so many holiday celebrations is that the holiday treats become 80% and you might manage to be healthy the other 20%.

How can we enjoy everything about Halloween and the Halloween celebrations, while still keeping a balance of healthy choices to keep our bodies and immune systems strong through the season?

Rethink Your Commitments

For myself, I schedule whitespace on my calendar. It is important to me to know that there are times that I don’t have to do anything and I don’t have to be anywhere. It is time that is just for me.

As a family, think about your commitments during Halloween. What are the celebrations that are most important to you? How many celebrations do you want to have? If the parties are overlapping, choose which one you want to go to. Look at the calendar while you are making these plans and plan whitespace on the calendar. Don’t let this be a weekend or week of running from one thing to the next to the next so that you wind up feeling exhausted and depleted.

Incorporate Healthy Treats

Whether you are hosting a Halloween party, taking treats to the school or church celebration, or just passing out goodies to trick-or-treaters, look at how you can incorporate healthy treats, instead of the standard sugar-filled treats.

Children are excited about candy, but anything that isn’t part of their normal routine can be a treat. You can choose healthier foods, and if they are a special occasion food, the kids will be just as excited about it. They also enjoy getting treats that are mini-sized and just for them.

Healthier food treats:

  • Bags of mini pretzels
  • Kind bars or Larabars — both of which now come in mini sizes
  • Fruit Leathers
  • Annie’s Bunny Grahams
  • Boxes of raisins
  • Clementines — which can even be decorated as a jack-o-lantern

You can also include non-food treats. In case you think kids will only be excited about candy, researchers at Yale University found that children were just as excited about non-candy items.

Non-food treats:

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Mini-notebooks
  • Stickers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Glow sticks
  • Slinkys

A Healthy Start to the Holiday Season

Once Halloween is here, it always feels like a there is a rush through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. And with the hectic nature of the holidays and the busy end of the year with many additional commitments, it is easy to let our healthy habits slide. We might think, “Oh it’s just for Halloween.” But when the holiday lasts for more than just a day, it becomes more difficult to get back on track.

Switch up your Halloween celebration this year so that you can feel healthier on that day, when you wake up the day afterward, and you can put the odds in your favor to remain healthy through the entire holiday season.

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