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Rediscovering Wellness: Healthy Halloween!

Healthy Halloween!!

Or is it Happy? Well if you ask me, they go hand in hand so why not make it a healthy and happy Halloween.

With the holiday just around the corner, kids are already starting to smell the chocolate and get those pre-jittery sugar highs just thinking about it. I know I used to! They're eagerly anticipating the sound of Snickers bars and Three Musketeers rustling in their Halloween bags. Ever so eager to get to the next house to see what's in store for them there. I get it, kids LOVE candy and LOVE chocolate and that's what Halloween is all about to them but it doesn't have to be. Do we think they won't have fun without it or that we mix up traditions a bit?

We most certainly can make Halloween fun without all the sugary laden hoopla. Let's get our kids off the chemicals and back into nature. Let's churn their taste buds a bit from sweet and salty to healthy. All we end up doing with this holiday candy is give our kids a short-term fix that turns into a long-term disaster. We allow them to fill up with chemically laden junk which in turn drives them to crave more once their candy filled bags are empty, not a healthy cycle.

Why not mix up traditions a bit? Instead of the usual "trick or treating" to random houses to where you have no idea what your kids are going to get, set up a trick or treat pot-luck. It's so simple and can be so fun and great for the community as well. Whether you live in a close-knit neighborhood with many kids and families that play together or live in a somewhat secluded neighborhood, it can work both ways and here is how.

It's almost like that telephone call you were assigned on a snow day to five families and then those five families each have their own five people to call. However, in this instance, it might be a small group of families who already know they want to plan this together or maybe your child has some friends in school that you want to plan with their parents. What a great way to get to know the parents as well that you might not already know. If the houses are not within walking distance, who says the route can't be taken by car? Play some haunted music, put cobwebs on the ceiling, dress it up.

With this idea, you know what your child is getting, you know they are safe, you know your route and in the end, you know there is more fun in store then just going home, emptying your child's bag to either disappoint them by telling them they can only have one piece or perhaps you let them sit there, eat the whole bag and end up calling it a very LONG dreadful night. It works like this:

1. You need one leader or two depending on how large the group is to get the considered families on board.2. Once you know who is included, set up a time to get all the parents together or one parent from each family to represent in order to scheme the nights events3. Once you're all together, work out a system that seems to be the best fit for that night's travel route such as delineating whose house goes first, second, last, etc. It's kind of like putting together a scavenger hunt with a map.4. Now obviously you can't be in two places at once so you decide which parent takes the kids and which stay home or perhaps you have one parent or two take out a few of the kids and their parents stay home and give out the treats. That can all be worked out amongst the group.5. Decide and write down what each house might bake, buy and give to the kids so that each house will have something different and not repeat.6. The finale ends up being that last fun house. This is where you will finish & land for the evening's events, even those that stayed home, join in afterwards. The rest is up to you to get creative. Throw a party with haunted themed games and serve healthy haunted Halloween snacks such as healthy breadsticks shaped like bones, with festive pumpkin dip, have some roasted pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie and fresh hot apple cider to serve. Maybe if it's early enough you serve a healthy Halloween themed dinner. You have so many great options with so much fun in store for you and the kids.

I love this idea not only from a healthy nutritious standpoint but what a better way to get parents together and start a community of families that could become lifetime friends. A tradition that the kids can look forward to every year and hold memories of previous years and best yet, it is healthy.

So come on, it's only mid October, you can still start the planning towards a great tradition with a healthy, Happy Halloween!!

Dana Pettit, Holistic Health Coach,

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