What could be better than being a kid on Halloween? Creative costumes, spooky decorations, school parades and late bedtimes. Plus, people handing out candy, seemingly by the pound. Over 160 million Americans buy candy for Halloween, according to a 2019 seasonal trends report by the National Retail Federation. But the sugar high doesn’t just last one night: Halloween celebrations have been starting earlier each year with many families decorating before October. This translates into more opportunities for kids to collect candy for longer periods of time. And while no one’s suggesting that you forbid your children (or yourself) from enjoying Halloween treats, it might be a good idea to come up with some healthy alternatives. Whether you’re planning a Halloween-themed party or a family move night, we’ve got some tips and tricks on how to curb the sweets without taking away all of the fun.
Sugar Highs and Lows
Let’s face it: Halloween is synonymous with sugar. Between all the bags of candy you purchase for anyone coming to your door and all the goodies your kids bring home on October 31, the holiday tends to revolve around sweets. In a typical haul, the average American child collects between 3,500 and 7,000 calories worth of candy, according to public health experts. And while most kids don’t eat their entire haul in one sitting, they eat a lot of it. According to 2013 data collected by Coupon Follow, the average kid consumes about 3 cups of sugar on Halloween (almost 16 times the maximum daily recommendation of 25 grams suggested by the American Heart Association).
Before you ban Halloween altogether, remember that if your child binges on sugar for one day, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, focus on reducing their sugar consumption on a daily basis by offering healthy and delicious alternatives–like seaweed, for starters! Our low carb yet nutrient-dense seaweed snacks are individually wrapped so they’re perfect for trick-or-treating. Plus, they’re an excellent source of protein, vitamins A and B12, calcium and iodine. (Not to mention, each pack is the equivalent of 1 serving of vegetables). If you spend $35 or more, you’ll enjoy free shipping so don’t forget to stock up for the big night.
Movie Night Snack Box Hack
Seaweed also comes in handy for Halloween-themed celebrations all month long. If you’re planning a spooky movie night and looking for a snack option that’s the perfect mix of salty and sweet, check out our DIY snack box. Festive and easy to assemble, it comes together in minutes. All you need is your choice of seaweed snack packs, popcorn, candy and your favorite drink. (Don’t forget your favorite horror flick).
Halloween Sushi with Crispy Rice
If you’re invited to a Halloween party, chances are a healthy seaweed-based option like our spooky sushi snacks will be much appreciated. Scary good and easy to make, this delicious appetizer will please even the pickiest guests.
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup + 2 tsp rice or apple cider vinegar, divided
- 1 tsp fine salt
- Smoked salmon, cut into rounds
- Nori seaweed sheets, cut into spooky shapes
- Mayonnaise or wasabi (optional)
- Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear, then drain completely.
- In a medium pan, add rinsed rice and water. Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce and simmer on low for 18 - 23 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
- Transfer cooked rice to a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and stir in 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, then let cool to room temperature, folding mixture occasionally.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds of cooked rice or use your hands to shape the rice into flat circles.
- Brush the tops of the rice with sesame oil and broil for about 5 minutes or until slightly brown and crispy.
- Spread avocado on top of the rice or top with round pieces of salmon.
- Decorate with mayonnaise or wasabi and pieces of yummy nori sheets.
More Tips and Tricks
- On the day of, cut out as much sugar as possible. For example, if they usually eat cereal for breakfast, opt for an egg instead or swap their afternoon muffin with vegetables and dip.
- You can also agree upon candy limits ahead of time. Chances are, they may not even reach that limit if they’ve eaten beforehand.
- Before they head out to trick-or-treat, serve a nutritious, balanced meal. They might still go overboard on candy but at least they’ll have eaten nutrient-rich foods earlier in the day.