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4 Tricks to Make your Family's Halloween a Treat

happy halloween on a letter board with candies in the backgroundHalloween can be a frightful time of year for the chiropractor wanting to help families create extraordinary health and well-being. Whether it’s the stress of finding the perfect costume, getting spooked by the neighbour’s lawn display, staying up late or eating way too much sugar the celebration of Halloween can be hard on your child’s health and their nervous and immune systems. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks to keep this fun family tradition thrilling.

Eat Healthy Before Heading Out

Planning a healthy dinner on the night of Halloween is a great way to nourish your child before they head out to bombard their nervous system with sugar. Include plenty of protein, healthy fats and high-fiber, non-starchy plant foods to fill your child up making it less likely that they will binge on Halloween candy afterward. If you are like me and are still carving the jack-o-lantern when the first trick or treater arrives at the door a healthy meal can feel overwhelming so be sure to have a plan.

child in a costume trick or treating

Leverage the Walk

Walking door-to-door is actually pretty good exercise which sadly many kids today just aren’t getting enough of. In Canada, it is recommended that children ages 5-11 get one hour of moderate to vigorously intense activity per day. Halloween offers a great opportunity to get moving. Engage your children in pre-planning your route and if once you have met your activity goal, they still want to keep going…why not! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and bring a water bottle.

Set a Limit

In my early days of parenting, I had a zero-tolerance policy on sugar. Call it an occupational hazard but when you understand the chemical stress that Halloween puts on the body and nervous system it is difficult not to take the hard-line. The combination of sugar and chemicals found in most candy depletes the immune system just as we head into cold and flu season. Over the years I have loosened my grip and realize that it’s important for kids to participate in the cultural norms, but we have limits. Establishing a limit before heading out helps to keep expectations clear and gives kids the freedom to feel part of the decision-making process while also ensuring that they are honouring their body and their health.

Consider a Switch

a group of children in halloween costumesIn addition to setting a limit, one of the tricks that has worked well in my family is swapping the candy that the kids have collected with healthier alternatives. I am not advocating carrots for candy and honestly, that just wouldn’t fly at my house, but I do believe that if you are going to indulge you should enjoy high-quality ingredients. Whether its dark chocolate, organic lollipops, gummy candy made with sugar alternatives or natural potato chips there are lots of better options to choose from and most of them are allergen-free which may be an important consideration. Here are some of my family’s favourites.

October is the beginning of a festive time of year and it is healthy to have fun celebrating traditions like Halloween. It also marks the beginning of the cold and flu season. For families wanting to stay healthy naturally, it is an important time of year to stay on top of chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and proper nutrition so that you can stay frightfully flourishing until next Halloween.

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