5 Healthy School Lunches for the Week of Halloween
Halloween is officially one week away and the excitement is building. The kids are chattering on about their costumes and making plans with their friends. It’s an exciting time of year and I absolutely love everything about it. Except for the looming sugar rush.
Halloween isn’t just about the candy though. There’s so much more to enjoy than the candy grab and snorffle, but the fact that sugar is everywhere is a reality. So, how do we make sure that our kids still have fun and enjoy Halloween without consuming toooooo much sugar?
One way is to Pack healthy school lunches for the week leading up to Halloween
Healthy school lunches are important all year-long, but in the week leading up to Halloween they are especially important. I’ve included some ideas for 5 healthy lunches mixed in with some more suggestions that can help lessen the amount of sugar consumed at this time of year.
Focus on all the things surrounding Halloween, not just the candy
The kids will no doubt be excited about the treats, but try to focus your attention on emphasizing to your kids, all the other exciting things that are part of Halloween. Like the excitement of getting their costumes ready, what their friends costumes are going to be, the decorations at your own home and in the neighborhood, seeing everyone out and about on the street the night of Halloween and the party atmosphere.
Don’t make the evening all about the trick-or-treating
Try to include other activities in your evening, to go along with trick-or-treating. You could plan a Halloween get-together and then all go out trick-or-treating together or attend a local event (our library hosts a Halloween event each year that is fun to stop in on before/after we go trick-or-treating). We have gotten together with friends for several years now. The kids get to finish up the final details of their costumes together, we have a healthy dinner and greet some trick-or-treaters at the door before heading out together for our own trick-or-treating. It’s nice because we get to celebrate the evening together and it makes trick-or-treating just one part of the evening.
Let younger kids go at their own pace
When my youngest was 2, she was very excited to get dressed up in her costume and head out trick-or-treating with her older brother and sister. As the two older kids ran about trying not to miss a house, my youngest was happy to sit in the wagon after one house and munch on the one treat she had collected. My initial reaction was to ask if she wanted to save her candy and go to the next house, but then I realized that what she was doing was ideal. Doing the candy grab was not something I wanted to encourage, it was something I wanted to discourage, so I let her be happy as a clam watching all the excitement around her. She went to a few more homes but I love that she just enjoyed being part of all of the excitement and wasn’t thinking about the bag of candy she would have at the end.
Set limits for both trick-or-treating and for handling the treats after. If kids know what to expect ahead of time, you are less likely to end up with a ginormous haul at the end. Set limits such as what route you will take – around the block, to the end of the street and back, 3 houses (you wish), how long you will go for, and/or how much candy they can collect. And of course when and how much candy they can eat during and after trick-or-treating.
Use a small trick-or-treat bag
Lets face it a when it comes to trick-or-treating, a full small bag seems like more than a half-empty large bag. Um, because one is half empty and the other one is full.
Hand out an alternative to candy yourself
And for the last one, do what you would like more parents to do for your kids, hand out an alternative to candy. Art supplies, glow-in-the-dark sticks, stamps, tattoos.
Making some of these decisions ahead of time and incorporating them in the discussions you have with your children in the week leading up to Halloween will make the whole sugar thing a lot less scary.