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Having a Healthy Halloween

Halloween is an exciting and fun event for kids and parents alike. Finding the perfect costume, hosting spooky parties, and hitting the hood for trick-or-treats are all part of the occasion.

It’s no┬ámystery that Halloween candies are not healthy for the most part. A recent study revealed that almost 2 billion dollars worth of candy and chocolate is sold each year at Halloween. That’s a staggering amount and this number should grab our attention. With obesity rates rising in Canada, one in four Canadian adults and one in ten children have clinical obesity. The extra calories from Halloween treats are making a bad situation worse.

halloween-candy Image by Luke Jones

Candy and sugary treats also affect our oral health; did you know that dental decay, or cavities, is the most common chronic disease of children in Canada? So, what can we do to enjoy Halloween but make it healthier for everyone? We can start by choosing healthy fun substitutes to hand out. Check out the lists below for food and non-food alternatives.


*100% fruit snacks
*Sugar-free gum
*Real fruit cups
*Mini oranges
*Individually wrapped cheese sticks
*Granola bars made with real fruit
*100% real fruit juice boxes
*Box of raisins


*Temporary tattoos
*Bubble Wands
*Plastic rings/bracelets
*Toy cars
*Glow necklace/bracelets
*Silly string

Promoting a healthy lifestyle means coming up with conscious ways to reduce or limit candy consumption in your home. After a night of trick-or-treating, take out your favorite candies and donate the rest. Many communities have a buyback program where leftover candies are purchased back.

Get kids involved in some fun physical Halloween activities like scavenger hunts, a corn maze, or broom riding. Dancing and game are also fun for kids, like musical pumpkins, pumpkin decorating, bean bag toss, mummy wrap, or they can sit around the fireplace and tell ghost stories.

With a little thought, Halloween can be about the spirit of having fun, instead of gathering a bag full of candy.


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