Healthy Halloween tips for kids: the trick is some treats

Traci Paige Johnson explains how to have a healthy Halloween with your kids. Credit: Getty Images
Traci Paige Johnson explains how to have a healthy Halloween with your kids. Credit: Getty Images

Halloween can be a nightmare for the health-conscious parent. Traci Paige Johnson, creator of Blue’s Clues, offers suggestions for a fun and healthy Halloween. And if you’re wondering what the voice of Blue is up to now, she’s pioneering Yummiloo, an interactive musical food adventure series (currently an app, soon to be a show) designed to teach kids about healthy eating.

Before you equate Yummiloo’s mission with “ruining Halloween,” keep in mind Johnson advocates candy in moderation. In fact, she says making sweets totally off limits will only result in an eventual binge.

“If you make candy an absolute no, then it becomes more enticing,” Johnson says. “It’s all about balance, all about enjoying the holiday and not being too taboo or negative about the candy. Embrace it, and use it as a teaching moment for kids.”

Johnson indicates that teaching healthy habits and positioning food as fuel is anything but difficult with little kids. “If you say, ‘eat a carrot you’ll have supersonic eyesight,’ they’ll totally jump on board,” she says. “It’s all about modeling how you are in front of your kids, and reaching for healthy snacks.”

When it comes to healthy eating and rationing candy, make sure that kids are part of the process.

“You can sit down together and figure out how much candy is good for a day,” Johnson says. “Maybe it’s one little candy bar and two Smarties. Also, if they have a piece of candy, it’s good to serve it with a glass of milk or a little cut-up fruit to fill them up.” she says.

Inevitably, you’re going to have more candy than you can even think about eating. Johnson recommends cutting some up, freezing it, and using it to cook with later on. “Use it again when you’re making oatmeal cookies or just sprinkle some on your oatmeal,” she suggests.

Alternatively, Halloween candy can become a young artist’s new medium of choice. “Get a big piece of poster board and make a candy mosaic,” Johnson says. “You can have little Hershey’s Kisses be the clouds, or make a house out of Tootsie Rolls. Or you can do a three-dimensional house, like a gingerbread house. Stick all your candy on a milk carton with frosting. Sure, you’re maybe snacking a little bit as you’re going, but it’s a nice centerpiece you can have.”

If you’re looking for some candy-free Halloween activities, Johnson serves up the idea of pumpkin volleyball. “Take orange balloons and have your kids draw on Jack-o’-lantern faces with black Sharpie, and sort of play volleyball,” she says. Arts and crafts are a given, too. “Collect leaves and acorns or anything from nature, and glue it on gourds or pumpkins to make creatures,” she says.

Johnson encourages parents to cultivate healthy eating habits in kids, but ultimately just enjoy Halloween. “The trick is to balance and have things in moderation,” she says. The trick is to allow treats.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…