Halloween is all about having fun! There’s so much to look forward to; dressing up, using your creativity and imagination, getting outside to walk around the neighbourhood, checking out people’s creative decorating, pulling some pranks, giving your friends and neighbours a little scare, and having some laughs! Its the one day a year where everyone gets to be whatever they wish and revel in some childish fun and mischief, no matter your age.

Oh yes, and then there’s all the candy! This can be a bone of contention (pun intended!) for some parents. While there’s no harm in the occasional treat (personally mini Wunderbars are my favourite!), Halloween does present a glut of candy in the house and potential for over doing it. For those people who would rather focus on the fun of Halloween rather than the candy, there are lots of ways to have a fun and healthy Halloween!

Get Moving

Physical activity is a great way to burn off those extra calories from sugar! Get outside and enjoy a yard clean-up together as a family. Yard work uses all the major muscle groups in the body so literally put your back into it! Get a cardio and core workout raking up leaves and stuffing them into decorated bags to make a creative Halloween display. You can strengthen your upper body and work on your balance at the same time while up on a ladder hanging string lights. Have the kids take turns pushing each other around in a wheelbarrow or have a pumpkin lifting contest. When all the chores are done, have an energizing game of tag!

Looking to keep the momentum going after dark? Most cities offer “haunted” historical walking tours. This is an easy and entertaining way to get a few extra kms into your day and get the heart rate pumping as you anticipate a spooky sighting. Another obvious after-hours exercise choice is hitting the dance floor and doing the Timewarp, Thriller, or Monster Mashing the night away!

Trade Up

Many businesses (especially dental offices) have a Candy Buy Back Program. This is a great incentive for children to trade in some of their candy, with some places paying up to $1 per pound. They still get to enjoy the reward of their efforts and choose to keep some of their prized candy. Win win! If you are an employer or business owner, consider starting a Buy Back Program for your staff or patron’s kids.

Change it Up

If you’d prefer to avoid handing out candy at your door, feel free to change it up! Many healthy, organic snack food companies now make mini-sized portions for handing out at Halloween. The price difference is worth it, if its important to your values, and parents will surely appreciate seeing a healthy option in treat bags!

Other alternative ideas:

  • Toys
  • Stickers
  • Spare change
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • children’s books or DVDs you no longer use

Donate It

Food Banks and other businesses will accept donations of candy. Children can learn two values in one by working hard to collect the candy and then the reward of giving it away to others.

Healthy Treat Exchange

Some people may want to skip the Trick or Treating altogether and attend a Halloween party with friends and family. This is the perfect setting for a Treat Exchange. Everyone attending the party brings a batch of healthy treats to share, then you ‘exchange’ and take home a sample of everyone’s assorted delights. Its a smaller scale way to still participate in Trick or Treating, and you can decide as a group to make healthier options available.

However you decide to indulge this Halloween, we hope you have fun!