Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween!

This week I returned as a guest on the World Internet Fitness Radio Show, FTNS "Boomer's Rock" (thanks, Tom and Sandy!) and we started talking about ideas to help ANYONE have a healthy and happy Halloween this year.  Here are some of those tips and more.

Eating and Trick-or-Treating Well
  • Go for toys as door treats rather than candy as giveaways at your home.  Play-doh, crayon packages, washable tatoos, and spooky plastic jewelry are fun ideas.
  • TOSS your expired treats from last year!  There is nothing worse than allowing my kids their one-a-day treat, and find grey, mashed chocolate.  Bleh!  Not safe, not good...
  • Set guidelines for candy in your house and eating on Halloween before you go to your parties or activities.  We let our kids have 3 treats from their goodie bag on Halloween night.  Then we have a candy sort the next morning and they can have one mini-treat each day after so long as they eat 3 healthy meals (and 2 healthy snacks), do their chores, and go for a walk with us that night.  (it sounds like a lot, but they don't really have to think about any of these steps.)  We aren't anti-candy in our house; if you eat well, candy is part of discretionary calories in a balanced diet.  We do toss the taffy and save our favorites.
  • Take water with you to parties and trick-or-treating.  All that door-to-door walking makes you and your kids thirsty; have water handy so they aren't tempted to suck down the juice pouch/box they may get from a neighbor.  Drink water between snacks and meals at parties to help fill your stomach and avoid over-eating those yummy Halloween snacks.  (Food plug:  I love Trader Joes Caramel Corn: 3/4 cup has 120 calories; try 1/2 cup with unsalted peanuts and roasted, unsalted almonds.  Yum!)
  • After you sort your Halloween treats, store treats well.  Love the open candy tub at your office or house?  Easy to binge, right?  We use glass jars with lids to separate gum and mints from chocolate; it keeps everything from tasting the same and is smell-proof!  To get to a treat: you have to choose a jar, get the jar, open the lid, pick a candy... extending the "do-I-really-want-this" thought process is binge-prevention, my friend!  And the jars look pretty like a candy store, you almost want to leave the candy in them.  Almost... 

Getting More Active
  • Decorate your yard!  Buy a one dollar bag of spider web and string it all around.  If you've ever had to do this, it's a great workout.  You'll be moving up/down/all around and working your brain to figure out where you can attach all the web fibers.  So fun!
  • Pumpkins:  Take a trip to a pumpkin farm and pick out a large one to carry back to your car.  Have a contest at work or among neighbors, and get together with friends to dig out and carve them up.  Even try saving and roasting the seeds this year (we started this last year, if you have a great recipe, send it my way!)  If you have a place to do so, have fun AFTER Halloween with a pumpkin smashing bash!  Lay out a tarp outdoors to smash the pumpkins on and wear old clothes you can wash after, use a large rubber mallet, and let's the kids and grown-ups go at it. Remember Gallagher with a Sledge-O-Matic; hilarious!
  • Have a Costume Parade at your work, church, or neighborhood.  Rather than focusing on dress-up for night time trick-or-treating, take a walk in dress-up the weekend before, look at decorations, enjoy being with fun people...
  • Have a Halloween carnival in your neighborhood, or active-activity for trick or treats in your yard.  Get a cheap skeleton you can take apart and see how fast kids can put it back together.  Buy a bag of rubber bats or eye balls and create a hamper "cave" or "mouth" bin to see how many kids can toss in under 30 seconds.  I don't recommend games that put kids on the ground since many may have dresses or difficult costumes to maneuver in.
  • Halloween Dance Party, anyone?  Thanks to YouTube, you can learn Thriller (as Tom mentioned on FTNS, and I hope he posts a video!), the Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, and many more Halloween-themed dances to add to your party or get together.  I love Drew's music at Party City for Drew's music Halloween tracks.

Now it's your turn!  I'll be having a "Healthy Halloween" Giveaway and you can comment with your ideas to enter and win one of three Susie Tallman "Come On, Let's Go!" DVDs.  The giveaway will run October 22 through Oct. 30 so we can pick three winners on Halloween morning.

Check back tomorrow for all the Giveaway details
Wishing you health and happiness this holiday! - Megan