Spooky and Safe Ways to Celebrate Halloween – The Morning Sun
The holidays aren’t exactly known to be healthy, but this year there are more health considerations to keep in mind beyond the usual sugar rush. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many holidays have been spent in different ways and Halloween will follow. Here are some safe and healthy alternative ways to get spooky this season.
Make health fun
The average child can consume 3,500 to 7,000 calories from Halloween candy. It would take a 185 pound person a full working day of non-stop cross-country running to burn that amount of calories.
Crafting with healthy foods makes it more fun to eat. Add a few cool options for festive Halloween snacks before the attention turns to the candy:
• Tangerine Jack-o’-lanterns: Draw faces with a permanent marker on a tangerine peel.
• Banana Ghost Mummies: Peel and cut a banana in half, place the cut end of the banana on a popsicle stick, and place chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth. Finally, spread peanut butter “dressings” on the banana.
• Marshmallow Apple Mouth: Cut an apple in half and cut rounded slices, apply peanut butter to one side of each slice, place mini marshmallows as teeth one and them with a second slice smeared with peanut butter for a funny monster smile.
Offering healthy snacks to treat candies instead of treats can help keep the night fun with fewer empty calories:
• Animal crackers
• Baked chips
• Dried fruit
• Fruit snacks, ideally made from 100% fruit juice
• mini toothbrushes and mini toothpastes
• Small toys such as bouncing balls
• Trinkets such as fun erasers, bookmarks and stickers
• Trail mix
Depending on local rules or regulations regarding COVID-19, door-to-door may not be in the cards. To help guide families in developing their plans, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the activities and associated risks.
Here are some ideas for changing the tradition of trick-or-treating:
• Consider setting up a table in the aisle with a spread of pre-portioned candy in plastic cups. Make sure to keep a distance of 6 feet, hand sanitizer on hand, and masks – bonus if they’re scary.
• Host a virtual Halloween party with a costume and / or pumpkin carving contest.
• Let children decorate their rooms with spooky cobwebs, skeletons or craft decorations.
Create scary masks
Masks are a part of leaving the house, especially for people who are unvaccinated or at higher risk of serious illness. Making a scary mask together can be a fun activity for the whole family.
• Make or buy plain masks
• Decorate by drawing a skeleton mouth or a smiling pumpkin-lantern mouth with a fabric marker.
• Glue on false teeth or a scary clown face
Focus on activities
Some households may choose to focus their Halloween festivities on fun activities that can be done at home. Here are some ideas:
• Candy treasure hunt
• a Halloween bingo
• a Halloween movie night
• Pumpkin carving
• Pumpkin painting
• Garden decoration
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more health tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.