Fear not, all you ghosts, goblins, witches, and ghouls. Halloween is still happening, and we’ve got the tools… to help you have a happy, healthy, and FUN holiday!
This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has left many wondering what Halloween will look like with the ongoing recommendations to social distance. If you have young children, you may be on the fence about trick-or-treating. Spooky-themed parties, festivities, and get-togethers will also look different this year, but rest assured, there are plenty of variations and alternatives to help you enjoy your Halloween without resigning to the couch with a bowl full of candy.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy Halloween safely and healthily.
Socially Distant Halloween Alternatives
- Enjoy the fall weather and try a costume parade with a few neighbors.
- Allow your children to trick-or-treat in neighborhoods that are confirmed to have socially distanced candy delivery options.
- Cover your home in spooky outdoor decorations and invite the neighborhood to drive by.
- Have a Halloween-themed movie night with the people you live with.
- Do some outdoor pumpkin carving with your close family and friends.
- Host/attend a virtual costume contest or get-together.
- Have a candy hunt with your immediate family/friends or go to a local park while remaining socially distant and wearing masks.
- Make a night out of cooking spooky-themed foods, treats, and dishes.
Tips for a Lighter, Healthy Halloween
Spend Time Moving
Encourage your family to get some physical activity and enjoy the cooler fall weather. Take a group walk or bike ride and wear your costumes for the neighbors to see! You can also have a family game of Tag, Hide and Seek, Four Square, or another competitive activity.
Fill up Before the Treats Start
Instead of snacking on candy all day, reserve the treats for later and make sure you fill up with a healthy meal. For example, try a hearty and filling fall stew or use the grill outside to make turkey burgers or meat and veggie kebobs.
Serve Healthier Treats
Whether you’re hosting a movie night or passing out treats “socially distant” style, try lightening up the snacks with lighter foods. The American Heart Association offers some nice suggestions:
- Clementines or oranges decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns
- Snack-size portions of popcorn, pretzels, graham crackers, or dried fruit
- Trail mix or pumpkin seeds
- 100% real fruit strips, ropes, or leathers
- 100% juice boxes or pouches
- Squeezable yogurt tubes or pouches
- Sugar-free gum
If you’re having a movie night or small family get-together inside and want to serve-up some extra creative Halloween goodies, let your imagination wander! Search Pinterest for healthy Halloween-themed foods that everyone will enjoy. You’ll find pumpkin-shaped veggie plates, eyeball meatballs, pretzel and cheese witch broomsticks, and other fun goodies.
Remember Balance and Portion Control
Halloween is just one day of the year, so don’t feel like you have to keep everything off-limits. Instead of avoiding candy altogether, you can serve healthy snacks first and bring out the sweet treats later. If you’re one that is easily tempted by candy, filling up on nutritious foods earlier in the day can help curb your sugar cravings. You can also try fun-size (instead of full size) candies, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and brownies.
Halloween may look a bit different this year, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones and lighten it up as well. Above all, remember to take advantage of the day, embrace the season, and have some fun!