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Quick tips for a heart-healthy Halloween

American Heart AssociationNashville, TN – If you’re looking for easy tricks for healthier Halloween treats, read on. There ARE healthier ways to give your little goblins their Halloween fun, and avoid a supersized sugar rush. Check the American Heart Association’s Halloween tips here!

Remember to have a healthy meal BEFORE you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.

Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!

Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini-boxes of raisins, 100% juice juice-boxes, snack-sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes and dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, or coupons to local frozen yogurt stores. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.

Find the right-sized collection bag for your child. Smaller bags fill up faster. Steer clear of the pillow case method.

Want to avoid candy and masses of kids? Dress your family up in their costumes and go see a movie, go to the toy store and have your child pick out their favorite toy, and see if local malls have trick-or-treat within the stores. Your local community may have one party for all. Local police and fire stations may offer this alternative as well.

Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery stores after Halloween. Spend the money on fresh fruit to give kids a sweet snack alternative.

Let’s say you DO end up with an excess of candy lying around your house come November 1st. How do you deal with it?

Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for 5 days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts, or celery.

“Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at a local park, going ice skating or other activity they like to do.

Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients, so be on the lookout for that option!

For more on children’s health, visit www.heart.org/kids.

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