October means Halloween and autumn harvest parties at home, school and community organizations. With all those pumpkin muffins, candied apples and mini-chocolate bars in our lives, it can be a challenge to help the kids to eat healthy without asking them to miss out on the fun of the season. Here are five tips for a happier and healthier October:
- For school parties, let kids make their own harvest trail mix. Provide bowls of assorted ingredients such as coconut, raisins, small crackers, pretzel squares or sticks, chocolate chips, cereals, dried apple or cherries, yogurt-covered raisins, dried pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Give each child a small goodie bag – you can buy them decorated or provide stickers so they can design their own – and let everyone take one spoonful of whatever ingredients they’d like.
- On the morning of Halloween, give your little goblins a good breakfast, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat pancakes with eggs, or, for a great smoothie, mix vanilla Carnation® Breakfast EssentialsTM powder drink mix in a blender with 1 cup 1% milk and half a frozen banana. You’ll know they’re getting the important nutrients they need early in the day, so that they can enjoy some Halloween treats later on.
- When they go out for trick-or-treat, make sure the children have flashlights and reflective strips on their costumes so they’re visible to drivers. Walk on the sidewalk and cross streets at crosswalks and go in groups, accompanied by an adult.
- If you or your community group are having a party, plan games and activities that give kids some exercise. Corn mazes, hayrides and guided moonlight hikes may be offered at local parks. Check them out!
- When your neighborhood Spidermen and Tinkerbells arrive at the door, offer them an assortment of treats that includes alternatives to candy. Small boxes of raisins, little bags of crackers or non-food items like small toys or stickers can help balance out the treat bags.
Other than candy, what’s your favorite Halloween treat? I’d love to hear your ideas! Have a safe and happy Halloween! Boo!
Disclosure: Nestle is a client of mine.