This Halloween rather than filling trick-or-treaters sacks with sugar opt to sack the sugar instead!

According to CNN, approximately $2.1 billion will be spent on Halloween candy in the U.S. this year. With numbers like that, kids could be sugar-buzzed until next spring. With only a week left till Halloween we know that many of you are heading to the stores to buy treats for the adorably costumed little ones that will come trick or treating. But before you go, we want to urge you to rethink what you are purchasing this year.

What’s so scary about Halloween candy?

  • OBESITY & DIABETES. As we know, obesity rates have tripled over the past 40 years for children and teens, increasing their risk of diabetes and other diseases.
  • HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. For the first time, children are being diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • SHORTENED LIFE SPANS. Currently almost 75% (74.1 %) of Americans over the age of fifteen are overweight or obese. The prevalence and severity of obesity is so great, especially in children, that the associated diseases and complications – Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer – are likely to strike people at younger and younger ages. A new report, which contends that the rapid rise in childhood obesity, if left unchecked, could shorten life spans by as much as five years.
  • SUGAR DECREASES IMMUNITY. The body absorbs Vitamin C through the same receptors as sugar.  Too much sugar blocks your body’s own ability to absorb vitamin C, which is essential for a strong immune system to fight off infections. Heading into cold season low vitamin C levels are not a positive thing. Eliminating or reducing sugary foods will help to improve immunity naturally.
  • EDUCATIONAL DIFFICULTIES. Sugar increase antisocial behavior in children and makes them less able to pay attention in school— studies show that not only does sugar in the diet lead to a 50% increase in antisocial behavior, but it also hinders learning abilities.

What can you hand out instead of candy that will still bring a smile to their little faces? How about TREASURES that they will TREASURE!

NOVELTY TOYS GALORE. Kids love small toys. And Halloween time is no different. There are a ton of cool options to choose from at party supply stores, craft stores and online. From costume themed gifts (like waxed lips and vampire teeth) to games (like bouncing balls, slide puzzles and yo-yos) to crafts (like stickers and stamps) choosing a variety is not only exciting to the children when they arrive, but these gifts won’t contribute to all those health conditions we just mentioned, and are more fun in the long run. And don’t forget about the glow in the dark jewelry and temporary tattoos, we even love those when we find them at an adult event!

Our favorites are the premade toy assortments at Oriental Trading Company, like the one pictured below!

deluxe-halloween-treasure-chest-toy-assortment-25_2322a

And who says trick or treating is the only option. Why not opt for a Halloween Bash!

If you want to protect your kids from this sugary high, take time to plan something better. Other parents in your area may share your concerns about turning their kids loose for a door-to-door, sugar-frenzied candy fest. Instead, plan a kid-friendly Halloween party and invite your children’s friends over for a spooky night of fun. Or get your neighbors together and throw a Halloween block party for the kids. A few parents can help organize the event with face painting, simple Halloween themed healthy food and drink booths, a costume contest, and outdoor party games. Either way you can control what is being served.

If all else fails, a short lesson in business could lead to a bright future!

If your little Princes or Princesses are dead set on dressing up and going out trick or treating, you can always do what our parents did. We were allowed to go out and collect all the candy we wanted and then come home and trade it for cash! Now, back in those days the going rate was a penny a piece of candy – though for some of the bigger (more valuable) handouts we negotiated a better price. But you can choose your own rate of exchange. Maybe five cents a piece, or a dime – it is entirely up to you. However, we really loved eating a few of our favorite candies and trading the rest for cash we could use to buy things we really wanted. Then our parents would throw the candy we traded away – and we looked forward to the toy store excursion the next day.

The bottom line is Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it can also be one of those candy centric holidays that can be the foundation of bad habits that can last a lifetime. This year is the perfect time to start healthy new Halloween traditions your children will look forward to year after year. That reminds us, we still have to get out there and get our Halloween costumes – keep an eye out for us at your party – we will be the ones dressed up as the Micronutrient Dynamic Duo. Happy Halloween!

How to have a healthier halloween | CaltonNutrition.com