Healthy Halloween Alternatives

First and foremost, the picture of this boy breaks my heart. Shame on the parents for enabling their child to lead an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle. The formula for a high-quality life (from a physical standpoint) is easy – eat healthy and exercise regularly.

Give me a moment to step down from my soap box.

Halloween is around the corner. The boys and I are knee deep in selecting costumes (for them and my wife and me), planning our trick-or-treat route, and accepting party invitations.

Truth be told, Halloween is my least favorite holiday of the year. Thanksgiving – now there is a great holiday! Good food and no gifts. Then three days off to digest and relax!

This year, step out from the standard industrial sweets Halloween and offer the kids in the neighborhood a healthy alternative. NOTE: you must put some effort into this! If you throw something together last minute, you will surely have pumpkins smashed on your driveway in the morning!

Preparing goodies at home is a great way to involve your children in the excitement of Halloween in a more educational manner. Think of all of the math and reading skills you can incorporate by simply following a basic recipe together. There are also extension activities that can be added on throughout the weeks leading up to October 31st.

My son, Nathan, will be dressing us as Curious George this year. In preparation for a party this week, he and I made Monkey Bread for all of his friends (Banana Bread). It is an amazingly simple recipe that involves all sorts of pouring, cracking, mixing, and spraying. What a great way to burn 40 minutes! We were also able to substitute olive oil for butter to lower the saturated fat content and substituted soy milk so that his brother Nick could enjoy the bread without upsetting his milk allergies.

Remember, presentation can go a long way. Break out a few bunches of bananas for a centerpiece. Add monkey cutouts to windows and doors. Frame out the table with monkey trim. Give every child a monkey name tag. Have games and prizes featuring the Curious George books and DVDs. Tell stories with monkey puppets. Play monkey dominoes. Build a jungle scene with flying monkeys.

Need a few more Halloween tips? Checkout PBS Kids and Experience Life Magazine.

Have a safe and healthy Halloween!

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