A Family Guide to a Healthy, Safe Halloween
Halloween is fast approaching—have you mentally prepared for navigating this holiday in which your kids will be amped for a sugar rush and you’ve got the added pressure of delivering great decorations, costumes and candy at your doorstep?
Well, there are several ways in which you can have a successful Halloween without sacrificing health and safety. Try these on for size.
Candy in Moderation
Here’s the crux of staying healthy and fit amidst a holiday built around gathering as much candy as possible – enjoy in moderation. A good rule of thumb is to have your kids select their three most-wanted pieces of candy once they return home and save the rest for later. You as the parent can set the tone by following the same rules.
Another good route is to feed them a filling, nutritious meal prior to trick-or-treating to curb their appetites for later. (Plus, there are ample opportunities in Sioux Falls for your kids to donate their candy to charities or food banks – have them take a handful of their favorites and then do some good for their community with the rest.)
Trick-or-Treating Ground Rules
You’re the best judge of how old your kids should be before they can head out on the trick-or-treating trek alone, but it’s always a good idea to keep an adult close by when wandering around the neighborhood at night. Make sure you walk through the rules with your kids before they head out so they know how to navigate traffic, unfamiliar houses and sticking with the sidewalk. It’s a good idea to pack a flashlight, a phone or some other form of contacting you for help and information about your name and address in case your child gets lost and asks someone for help.
Carving jack-o-lanterns is a pretty important part of many people’s Halloween celebrations, but when it comes to involving your kids, make sure you’re keeping an eye on those cutting utensils. Most pumpkins have enough give that a fairly dull or kid-friendly carver is totally appropriate (maybe skip the high-end cutlery). And when it comes to fire safety, make sure you adequately clean out the innards of your pumpkins and try swapping out your candles for flameless tea lights or glow sticks.
De-Complicate the Costume
Remember that old adage, “take one thing off before leaving the house?” Maybe implement that when it comes to cumbersome Halloween costumes. Skip the clunky costumes that could cause your children to trip and injure themselves like long robes or capes, and avoid heavy masks that could hinder breathing. (And some reflective tape never hurt when it comes to being noticed by drivers.)
It’s inevitable sometimes – the trick-or-treating fest could end with a pretty substantial bellyache among your kids (and possibly even yourself). Here’s a handy trick to get back into the swing of things post-Halloween – make Nov. 1 a day of family physical activity. This year it falls on a Tuesday, so plan on taking a family outing to the park after school or the tennis courts after dinner. (Or maybe even bring a picnic with healthy fruits and vegetables and lean proteins to help your bodies recover from that sugar rush.)