With Halloween just around the corner, it seems like bags of candy and chocolate are everywhere you look. A celebration originally intended to honor the souls of the dead has become completely centered on candy corn and "fun size" candy bars. Talk about scary!
Now I'm a big chocolate fan myself (especially dark chocolate!) and I definitely believe that sweet treats do have a place in a healthy lifestyle. Still every year I find myself frustrated by the overindulgence that occurs around Halloween and other holidays. Being surrounded by empty calories is just not a good way to set ourselves up to make healthy choices. Don't get me wrong, I'm not campaigning to end trick-or-treating or anything crazy like that. I love dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating, but I think we need to make adjustments to the messages (and the treats) we're giving to kids today. When I was little, we always wanted to just skip the houses we knew to give out apples, popcorn or toothbrushes, but maybe those people were onto something! Of course those are dietitian approved choices, but it doesn't even need to be that "extreme"! There are plenty of snack options that can satisfy a sweet tooth without breaking the nutritional bank.
Green Halloween is one of many awesome programs working on changing our approach to Halloween. It's gaining serious momentum and inspiring people to think "outside the candy-box®". I absolutely love the idea of making Halloween healthier, safer and easier on the environment!
Some of the well-known companies involved with the Green Halloween movement include Honest Tea, Stretch Island Fruit Co., Plum Kids, Cascadian Farms and (my favorite) Lara Bars! In fact, Lara Bars is hosting a sweepstakes to giveaway 100 LARABAR minis, which are a great healthy option for trick-or-treaters! (Hurry, though...it ends at 11:59pm tonight!)
So before you stock up on giant bags of (expensive) Halloween candy, consider giving out something GOOD to eat this year!
Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween!