Halloween is always a fun time to look forward to: there’s trick-or-treating, costume parties, scary-movie-binge-watching and all kinds of enjoyable spooky activities to do.  For parents with little kids, costume shopping for the little ones and doing some neighborhood trick-or-treating, and perhaps dinner with family or friends, are all part of the excitement. 

But Halloween is also the season of candy and other processed sugar bombs. Here are some ways you can make Halloween a little healthier for you, your kids, and the ghosts and goblins knocking at your door:

  1. Leave the car at home when trick-or-treating.

These days, people jump into their cars, drive to the next block, let the kids and their yayas down to collect candy, and then they jump back into the car and drive off to the next house a few steps away.  I’ve seen how bad the traffic gets inside those villages that host trick-or-treating activities. Do your neighbors and your health a favor and use this as an opportunity to have a bit of exercise! Walk with the kids and let them enjoy the stroll with you or push them in a stroller if you must. 

  1. Offer healthy alternatives to candy.

If you’re the one handing out the treats, then consider alternatives:

  • Offer dark chocolate, fruit slices or trail mix instead.
  • Go local and serve little cubes of kakanin with toothpicks, like biko, ube halaya, sapin-sapin puto and bibingka. Traditionally prepared ones will have less sugar, no gluten, and are loaded with healthy coconut oil.
  • Be the designated neighborhood drink station and offer water or coconut water for tired trick-or-treaters.
  • Hand out non-food items like little stickers or tiny notepads. Some people even hand out toothbrushes.
  1. Have a plan for the extra candy.

Kids can easily consume thousands of calories worth of candy during Halloween. And while it may be hard to part them with their stash, you really don’t want all of that to end up in their stomachs. Here are some ideas on what to do:

  • Use them as learning tools. There are many resources online for ways to use candy in scientific experiments and craft projects.
  • Donate extra candy to kids who never get any. It’s like candy for the soul.

Enjoy Halloween, everyone!