How to Have a Happier Halloween
by Melody Delgado
We are all trying to keep our children safe on Halloween night by taking them trick-or-treating in neighborhoods we know, staying in groups and knocking on doors with brightly lit porch lights.
But what about keeping them away from all that candy? The best way I’ve found to do that is to distract them with so many other fun things to do and eat, that their little tummies will be too full with ‘good stuff’ to have much room left for candy on Halloween day and the days to follow.
What can you do before the big day? Instead of carving pumpkins try decorating them with markers and dressing them up. Maybe your child wants to be a superhero and a scarecrow. Dress up your pumpkins instead. Color a giant S on the pumpkin and wrap a cape around the back. For a scarecrow, draw some ‘buck’ teeth and place a straw hat on top and a bandana around it’s ‘neck’. Use your imagination and place wigs, hats, scarves, necklaces and even earrings on your pumpkin heads before placing them on your front porch.
Decorate plain glass or clear plastic candle votives to place along your porch or sidewalk to light the way for other trick or treaters.
Get busy making pumpkin breads, zucchini breads, and carrot cakes ahead of time, to eat as a snack on the big night.
Have a neighborhood Halloween party before going trick or treating or before hosting a Trunk or Treat at your child’s school, church, or neighborhood clubhouse.
Healthier choice goodies to have when partying or eating on the big night:
Orange cheese fondue to dip whole grain bread chunks, pretzels, cubed chicken, turkey meatballs, etc.
Chocolate waterfall to dip fruit chunks into
Pumpkin mini muffins
Blueberry mini muffins
Air popped or microwave lower fat popcorn
Homemade mini pizzas made from whole grain English muffins – Place 2 tablespoons of jarred pizza sauce on one half of a whole grain English muffin, top with 1 slice of mozzarella cheese. Place in toaster oven or oven at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes until cheese melts and pizza is heated through.
Other tips to distract them from candy and sweets that week:
Keep trick-or-treating time to one hour only
Use smaller baskets/buckets that will fill up quickly
Give them a Halloween basket that morning or that evening filled with non-food goodies from the dollar store. Include items such as: Halloween pencils, erasers, coloring books, bouncy balls, seed packets for an herb garden or their favorite flower or vegetable, small plants to water and watch grow, frisbees, cups, stuffed animals, or any other fun and inexpensive items your child will enjoy.
All in all, if you make Halloween about activities and having fun, your children will associate the day with celebrating and dressing up, not just with feasting on sweets.
Make pumpkin shaped pancakes that morning or serve for lunch or dinner. Serve with green scrambled eggs using dyes made from natural sources.
Cubed ‘orange’ cheese makes a healthy snack. Better yet, cut them into pumpkin shapes using a cookie cutter.
Here’s my own recipe for a healthy treat that is whole grain and gluten free:
PUMPKIN BREAD – or muffins
¾ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups sugar
1 15oz can of pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups oat flour or brown rice flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chocolate chips [optional]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease two 8 ½” x 4 ½ “ loaf pans
In large bowl beat together: oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, water
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.
Stir to combine
Mix in chips if using
Spoon batter into prepared pans
Bake for 50-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Serve with soft butter, honey butter, or softened cream cheese.
Muffins will cook for approximately 20-30 minutes
Mini-muffins will cook for approximately 15-20 minutes
About the Author
Melody Delgado is the award winning author of ROYALLY ENTITLED, a historical novel for teen and pre-teen girls, which won a Readers’ Favorite award and placed third in the Wright Award competition in books for teens. She is also the author of OOPS-A-DAISY, a humorous novel for young readers. Her books may be found on Amazon.
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