While I’m all for my little one dressing up as a Tyrannosaurus Rex this Halloween, I am less than pumped about filling his belly full of the “scary” ingredients often found in candy.
While I certainly do not forbid an occasional treat — I can’t quite bring myself to let my son collect bags full of goodies, only to chuck most of them out later (after sneaking a few myself, of course.)
On the other hand, I also can’t argue against the experience of Trick-or-Treating.
Some of my favorite childhood memories were on Halloween night — laughing with my friends on moonlit streets followed by the inevitable tummy-ache from eating too many candy bars. Ah, those were the days…
I do believe there is a compromise. New tricks, treats and, hopefully, the same wonderful memories.
Here are a few candy-free alternatives to trick-or-treating on Halloween:
1) Costume Yoga
What could be more fun than adorable kiddos in costumes making fun shapes on their yoga mat? Host a party for little yogis (or just your own boys and ghouls — ha!) and get creative with poses.
- Mummy Pose: Instead of mountain pose, encourage your children to stand tall like a mummy, arms stretched straight out ahead.
- Scarecrow Pose: A twist on tree pose, encourage the children to pretend they are scarecrows standing on one leg in the field. They must stay still, so crows can perch on them.
- Black Cat Pose: Instead of the usual cat pose, of course.
- Spider Pose: After getting into tabletop pose, have your children crawl around like spiders.
- Pumpkin Pose: For children who can safely do a back-bend, have them pretend their rounded shape is a pumpkin (bridge pose will work, too!)
2) Halloween Pajama and Movie Night
Snuggle in Halloween PJs (or Halloween-colored pajamas, or a comfy costume), sip warm apple cider and enjoy a slightly spooky movie together.
3) Make your own “treats” in the Kitchen. Here are a few fun ideas to prepare with the kids (perhaps while listening to a Halloween playlist):
- Jack O’ Lantern Pizzas: Make sauce out of pureed pumpkin (or 100% pure pumpkin) mixed with a little bit of tomato sauce. Sprinkle on some cheese. Decorate Jack-O-Lantern faces on the pizzas with vegetables cut into a variety of shapes.
- Pumpkin Yogurt Parfaits: Layer pumpkin-flavored yogurt (or make your own with plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey and pumpkin puree) with ginger granola and diced apples.
- Ghost Pops: Halve a banana and put a Popsicle stick in one end. Roll each banana lightly in honey and unsweetened coconut flakes. Use raisins, dried blueberries or chocolate chips to decorate the ghost’s face.
4) Costume Parade
Be sure to include the pets, too — and offer a prize for the best costume!
5) Bonfire, Music & S’Mores
For those who wish not to celebrate Halloween altogether, celebrating fall is just as fun. Consider gathering family and friends around a bonfire — complete with drums, shakers and gooey s’mores.