Spooked by the thought of your children bringing home masses of sugary sweets this Halloween? Or worried of tricking yourself into having one too many unhealthy treats? What are the lasting memories we want our children to have of Halloween……the sweet filled stomach ache they are likely to get or the fun times with family and friends playing games and taking part in annual Halloween traditions.
As soon as the schools go back after the summer holidays, the supermarket shelves begin filling up with a variety of ghostly shaped sweets and chocolates, which are often hard to miss. But are sweets and chocolates shaped eye balls what we want our children to be reminiscing about in 10 years’ time?
One of the stand out things I remember about Halloween as a child is ‘dookin for apples’ in a basin on my parent’s kitchen floor. This was always a guaranteed laugh with friends and family and always ended up in the kitchen floor being soaked in water! I remember my friends and I would spend the run up to Halloween having fun making our costumes (normally encompassing large amounts of toilet roll!) and practising jokes we were going to tell when out guising. This goes to show that having fun at Halloween doesn’t need to only be about sweets. Instead creating memories dressing up, having fun with friends and family, spending time together watching a scary film or carving pumpkins can all be fun and not damaging to our health and waistlines. One tradition I have started with my own children is visiting the local pumpkin patch each year and spending the afternoon picking out the best looking pumpkins…something we all have great fun doing. Even better is when it comes to carving the pumpkins we can make a nice pumpkin soup, which I can feed to them before they go out guising in the pretence of them being nice and full and less likely to eat as many sweets when they are out.
So as the big night approaches lets try to shift the focus away from the mountains of unnecessary sweets and onto making memories with our friends and families, making All Hallows’ Eve not so scary for our future health.
Check out The SPCN’s Halloween giving cards below, to see healthy alternatives to giving sweets at Halloween.