Healthy Halloween 2015

Boo! Halloween snuck up pretty quickly on us this year, huh? For me it did anyway! My last Halloween post that was updated in 2014 still has some great ideas but this Halloween I thought I would focus on a healthy day before heading out to trick-or-treat as well as sustainable candy recommendations, particularly Fair Trade.

Candy will be eaten on Halloween, there is no doubt about it. Knowing this, it is important that kids set out to trick or treat having been energized with healthful foods throughout the day. This year Halloween happens to fall on a Saturday which may mean even more opportunities to make healthy (or poor) decisions since the kids are home and not in school. We unfortunately live in a very “all or nothing” society but reality is that holidays and social functions are a huge part of our life. If we went “all in” for every function, it would be very hard to maintain health. Help your kids build healthy habits while allowing for flexibility in their lifestyle. There are many ways to celebrate without junk food, and a lot of them can be found on Pinterest! Check out my whole board of kid-friendly, fun meal and snack ideas here. Make pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and make cut outs with Halloween themed cookie cutters, try some of the cute snacks below, and decorate hard boiled eggs together with a marker as shown above!
Healthy Halloween Snack.:  Great healthy halloween snack ideas for kids - minus the pigs in a blanket!:

You can make pumpkin stuffed peppers for dinner. Pizza is even okay if you make them with wheat dough and add some veggies of course!

Halloween Stuffed Peppers! Healthy, kid-friendly, and basically the best idea ever.:  Halloween Ghost pizza - use wheat: A fellow registered dietitian, Sarah Koszyk, compiled 35 great Halloween tips from nutrition professionals and shared on her blog this week. It is absolutely worth the read here.

Now for the candy! Per usual, as discussed in my previous posts, I will be giving out glow bracelets – kids LOVE them! But along with that, this year I ordered Equal Exchange brand milk chocolates. They do contain dairy and hazelnut which does mean I am making kids and parents aware of the allergens and will have other non-candy alternatives as I have in the past. However, they are made with organic fair trade cocoa butter, sugar, chocolate and vanilla. October is Fair Trade Month after all! The mini-chocolate Halloween order I placed came with the cards below that highlight the importance of fair trade and have a discount code for 10% with free shipping on the equal exchange site. What better way to promote this movement?

What exactly is fair trade and why is it important?

Fair Trade USA has a great video to give you an idea of why below, but here is a simple definition:
“Fair trade is a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as higher social and environmental standards”

It’s importance on Halloween and on other holidays really shines through to me. In the US, we spend money on kids costumes and parties so they can go out, have a good time, and get yummy treats – really its a luxury holiday. While that is all good fun, these luxuries come at the expense of other families and children’s lives – as they are the ones working in unfair, sometimes unsafe conditions to provide us with luxuries like chocolate, sugar, and coffee (among many other foods). Equal Exchange is just one of many brands trying to make sweets and treats fun for all!

I wish you all and your kids the happiest of Halloween’s! Have fun this weekend! By the way, if you haven’t yet heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project – check it out and highly consider participating!