Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children to dress up and gather as many sweets and lollies as their Halloween buckets can carry. However, overloading on sugary sweets and lollies can play havoc with their little tummies, not to mention the sleepless night that may follow due to the sugar highs and lows, colourings and other additives that can throw them into a spin.
Our Chief Nutrition Officer (and Mum) Mandy Sacher is sharing her go-to Halloween survival guide, to help curb the sugar rush and save parents from the tantrums and mood swings that may follow.
1. Allow children to choose their treats
When you have finished your trick-or-treating, ask your children to choose two to three pieces from their collection of treats, then offer them something exciting in exchange for the rest of their treats.
2. Avoid trick-or-treating hungry
Just like you should never go to the grocery store hungry, sending your little ones trick-or-treating on an empty stomach will make them more likely to binge on their loot. Instead, why not offer a filling main meal before they head out trick-or-treating and keep up with the fun by adding a Halloween twist?
You can use different veggies to make spider faces or cut ghoulish shapes into a healthy homemade pizza? This sweet potato pizza base is a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional pizza base.
You can also whip up a Jack-O-Lantern smoothie to keep your little one going. Packed with energy-boosting foods such as banana, pumpkin, and Medjool dates this smoothie is quick to make, easy to carry and delicious.
3. Create some homemade goodies.
If you have the time, why not create some healthy homemade treats?
Here are our favourite go-to homemade Halloween treats that still pack a nutritional punch.
4. Stay hydrated
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day and evening. Often time thirst can be mistaken for hunger, and thirsty children are more likely to drink sugary soda and fruit juices.
6. Pack some healthier treats
Fill their loot bags with healthier treats such as chocolate-coated rice cakes, dark chocolate buttons, and dried fruit covered with chocolate. If you can’t make your own, our favourite options, which are free from colourings and other additives, include:
- Banjo the Carob Bears
- Funday Sweets
- Natural Confectionery Co.
- YumEarth Organic Pops
- Table of Plenty Mini Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes
- Mini Moos Chocolate Bars.
5. Ditch the sugar for babies and toddlers under 2
Little ones’ taste buds are super sensitive, and it’s best not to introduce them to sugar-filled lollies from a young age. Although Halloween is a special occasion, and all children love to enjoy ‘sometimes’ food, sugar can play havoc on their little bellies and immune systems.
The good news is that at this age, it is easy to present a fun homemade goodie or to offer non-food items such as little toys or stuffed animals to guide them away from the sugary treats.
MindChamps Global Chief Nutrition Officer Mandy Sacher is Australia’s leading Paediatric Nutritionist, best-selling Author, child nutrition expert, blogger, and mother of two! She is also known for co-developing MEND (Mind Exercise Nutrition Do It!), the world’s largest and most researched childhood obesity prevention and treatment program based in the UK that was developed with over ten years of research.
Mandy and her Nutrition Team believe in the wellbeing of all our MindChamps children and that their nutritional needs should be fulfilled in our centres. Mandy’s philosophy is simple – teach children’s taste buds to enjoy nourishing, nutritionally beneficial foods as early as possible to ensure optimal development and establishment of lifelong healthy eating behaviours. Bridging the gaps in food and nutrition, this first-of-its-kind partnership is our commitment to create and elevate a positive and lasting impact on childhood nutrition on a global level.