This time of year when the holidays are upon us it can be challenging to keep on track with healthy eating. Especially when kids are involved, having festive foods and fun that’s also supportive of good health can be a challenge. But because all the high-sugar, highly processed foods are so damaging and detrimental to our health and wellbeing, it’s important to take steps to improve the quality of the holiday sweets and treats we take in.
Children are often the ones being targeted with all of the junk, but they are the ones with a special need to decrease and eliminate the sugar and increase the nutrients. Children’s bodies are in a state of constant growth, and because of this, their bodies demand higher amounts of nutrients to keep up. Not only does sugar and junk have a negative impact on their body, but it also causes nutrient depletion, which can impair growth, recovery, immunity, and mental focus.
Halloween in particular is a holiday centered around sugar and candy. But this doesn’t mean you have to indulge in junk food to enjoy the day! Below are a number of tips, tricks, and recipes for a nourishing and real food celebration the whole family will be sure to love! Start making Halloween a healthy event early in your children’s lives with many health-supporting, fun, family traditions that your kids will take with them going forward!
Have an orange-themed breakfast—Create a fun themed breakfast that is all in the color orange! Have orange slices, apricots, mango, freshly pressed orange juice, an orange smoothie, and others. Have fun and get creative with a smorgasbord of orange foods!
Orange Carrot Smoothie
¾ cup shredded carrots
And more…Get the full recipe at Jen’s Favorite Cookies!
Have a shape theme—Along with a color theme, having a Halloween shaped theme is also a fun way to be festive without sacrificing any health! For example, make pumpkins out of oranges, banana ghost “popsicles,” or bat shaped breakfast cookies! All of these foods can be made completely healthy while still maintaining a festive flair!
1 cup dried shredded coconut
12 mini chocolate chips
And more…Get the full recipe at Nugget Markets
Raw Batty Chocolate Cookies
Makes 8-10 large bat cookies
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup oat flour (or 2/3 cup rolled oats that you’ve ground in a food processor)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp carob powder (or cacao)
And more…Get the full recipe at Choosing Raw
Halloween Breakfast Cookies—This can be a great way for kids to have a nutritious breakfast (or snack!) that’s also fun! Let them create and roll out their “dough” and cut different Halloween shapes before popping the delicious goodness into their mouths!
Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 tbs. ground flax
3 tbs. water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
And more…Get the full recipe at Preppy Paleo
Turn It Into a Game—Using foods that you eat often anyways and turning it into a fun game is a way to get kids excited about eating their “normal” healthy foods! Take apples and peanut butter and decorate them with slivered almonds to turn them into apple “teeth” or make a platter of veggies, but see who can make it look like a pumpkin! Competitions can even be done to see who can make the best pumpkin, tooth, or anything else to get the kids engaged and having fun!
Use Festive Plates and Utensils—Even if the food itself isn’t themed, eating on fun themed plates or utensils can be an out-of-the-ordinary way for kids to enjoy healthy foods while also enjoying their holiday! Kids can even have fun decorating and making their own plates, cups, and other party goods to use to eat their food!
Caramel Apples—This is another fun and special way of having a sweet treat that isn’t going to be bad for the health! The kids will enjoy decorating their own apple with ingredients and toppings of choice, such as raw nuts, raw cacao nibs, or dried fruit! There are many recipes and methods available to make a healthy caramel dip or spread, but here is one of our favorites:
Homemade Vegan Caramel Apples
1 cup vegan butter substitute
2 cups cane sugar
2 cups almond milk
And more…Get the full recipe at One Green Planet
Remember when planning your Halloween night that every simple change for the better adds up! Even if your child has some candy, as long as the overall theme is health supporting then positive changes have still been made! Every little bit adds up and has an effect on health! Having some non-food festive fun is also a great way to celebrate without basing it around food and candy. Dress up, have games and contests, have toys or other things for handouts in place of candy, etc. The day does not need to be centered around sugar to still be enjoyed by one and all!Monster Mouth Lunchbox photo: Bunches and Bits on flickr Orange Carrot Smoothie photo: Jens Favorite Cookies Banana Ghost photo: Nugget Markets Bat Cookie photo: Choosing Raw Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies photo: Preppy Paleo Apple Bites photo: Oh She Glows Halloween Plate photo: Beth Woolley on PicasaWeb Caramel Apple photo: One Green Planet