Tricks and Treats for a Happy Halloween

It’s weird, but every year when Halloween approaches, I recall a scene from the movie, E.T.

E.T. (for extra terrestrial) came out in the theaters when I was a kid. It took place in California (of course), and I remember being a little jealous that the kids in the movie got to go trick-or-treating without jackets or umbrellas. I was California-born, but have been mostly Washington-raised, so almost every Halloween I remember has usually been a bit cold and rainy.

It’ll be that way again this Sunday — in our area, anyway — so I plan on bundling up my little Cinderella and making a quick trip to just a few houses around us. (You may remember my post from last year. She was Cinderella then, too, but this year she has a better dress!)

Cinderella, last year. :-)

Cinderella, last year. :-)

Anyway, the day is fast approaching, so I thought I’d share some helpful tips with you to make the day more fun (and hopefully healthy) for all.

“T-t-t-trick-or T-t-t-treat!”

Kids don’t always care about getting a little cold or wet on Halloween — they’re too focused on the prize…candy, that is. But if you do have a little goblin that gets chilly, here’s how you can make it a better experience (these tips work for parents, too).

  • Take little ones to the mall…or have a Halloween party instead. Get several families together and have “candy stations” around your home. Kids can go from one station to another to get their treats. This pretty much will only work for younger children, but will still be a fun time for all.
  • If you do go out, get some handwarmers. ThermaCare makes small, air-activated warmers you can keep in your pockets. Again…kids probably won’t care. These are for you, mom. Check the sporting goods area of your local superstore (Fred Meyer, WalMart, etc.) or sporting goods stores like Cabella’s, REI, Big 5, and others.
  • Have some apple cider heating up in a crock pot, ready to drink when you get back home. It’ll make your house smell good, too.

Too Much Candy?

A big question on many parents’ minds when Halloween rolls around is how to keep their kids from eating all the candy they receive. Because we can’t just be mean and take it away, here are some better ideas.

  • I’ve heard of parents paying their kids for the candy. Try giving them a nickel for every piece of candy they fork over. (This isn’t going to work with very little ones, however — they won’t understand and will expect to get their candy back.)
  • Teach them about the dangers of eating too much sugar: diabetes, obesity, other blood sugar problems (hypoglycemia, which can lead to diabetes), inability to think clearly (not sure if that’s documented, but it happens to me), tiredness, and last but not least…cavities. Remind them of how a dentist has to take care of those cavities…with a drill. Gives me shivers just thinking about it!
  • Every year, our orthodontist is sure to tell his patients to bring their candy to his office after Halloween. Not because he wants it for himself, but because he wants the kids to have healthy teeth. If I remember right, he pays around $5 a pound. I have no idea how many kids take him up on that, but it’s still a good idea. Check with your dentist or orthodontist to see if they offer a similar program.
  • Make sure you have plenty of healthier treats around to tempt your kids: roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread (this is a good recipe and also includes tips for making it healthier), popcorn balls (these are made with agave nectar instead of sugar), caramel apples (or sliced apples with caramel dip). Can you think of more?

Above all, be sure to have fun and stay safe out there. The CDC has some smart safety tips here to make sure a fun night is had by all.

©2010 Sally Dinius
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Sally Dinius is writer-in-chief here at, a blog created to inspire and motivate busy mamas everywhere to feel healthy, fit, and in control of their lives. Follow her on Twitter at, and come join the CrazyBusy Mama Facebook page by clicking here.