Halloween, a holiday rich in tradition, is filled with costumes, spooky decorations, and, of course, treats. While it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and overindulge in sugary delights, it's essential to maintain a balanced approach to health during this festive season.
In this article, we will explore how both kids and adults can have a healthier Halloween without sacrificing the fun. We'll provide effective strategies to avoid excessive sugar without relying on artificial sweeteners.
We will answer the question: Is organic Halloween candy really worth the expense? Additionally, we'll share a delightful and healthy dessert recipe along with a tantalizing mocktail recipe to enjoy during this fun time.
Origins of Halloween & Samhain
Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, traces its roots back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated over 2,000 years ago in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Northern France. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark winter months. It was believed that on the night of October 31st, the veil between the living and the "ghost world" became thin, allowing spirits to roam the earth. To scare off these spirits, people lit bonfires, performed dances, indulged in feasts, prepared offerings, and wore frightening costumes.
Our Modern Halloween Celebration Is Focused on Sugar
Today Halloween is still a community holiday filled with festivities, scary decorations and costumes. Yet, sadly the fun is now darkened by an overabundance of unhealthy refined sugar, artificial colors, and chemical flavorings. Trick-or-treating and candy exchange is the major focus of the American Halloween celebration. We all know that excess refined sugar is bad for health, but let’s run through just a few consequences of excess sugar intake.
Too much sugar has dangerous health effects:
- Depresses immune response (at a time of year when seasonal illnesses are surging)
- Ignites inflammation
- Stresses the pancreas; and can lead to hypoglycemia, insulin resistance and diabetes
- Worsens acne and skin conditions
- Feeds candida yeast overgrowth
- Aggravates gas and bloating
- Triggers mood swings, increased anxiety and depression
- Leads to adrenal exhaustion, fatigue, brain fog and causes even more sugar cravings
As mentioned above, eating sugar also sets your body up for MORE sugar cravings, which are extremely hard to overcome, for kids and adults alike. Let's move on to effective ways to break the cycle of sugar overload during your celebration.
Healthy Halloween Tips To Help Your Kids Avoid Harmful Chemicals
- Choose organic foods and spices whenever possible when preparing for your celebration. Organic foods strictly exclude chemicals like xenoestrogen-containing pesticides that disrupt hormone balance and could increase health risks like cancer. Furthermore, they are more nutritious. Data from more than 300 studies show organic fruits and vegetables contain significantly higher levels of antioxidants than conventional choices.
- Enjoy Non-Food Activities: Instead of focusing solely on sweets, engage kids in non-food Halloween activities like pumpkin carving, face painting, or spooky scavenger hunts. This way, they can have fun without relying on candy consumption.
- Portion Control: Teach children about portion control by using smaller Halloween-themed containers or bags for their treats. This helps limit the amount of candy consumed while still enjoying the festive spirit.
- Healthy Party Snacks: If you're hosting a Halloween party, provide healthier snack options like veggie sticks with hummus, or delicious sweet potato and zucchini “fries.” Simply use an air fryer or oven to roast the veggies. Include a little extra virgin olive oil or ghee to keep the veggies from drying out and season as desired.
- Roast Pumpkin Seeds for Snacks: They are so easy to make after pumpkin carving. Just clean and drain the seeds; season with a little extra virgin olive oil or ghee, sea salt and freshly ground pepper; roast and enjoy!
- Creative Treat Alternatives: Instead of traditional candies, consider offering creative and healthier alternatives. Ideas include organic, coconut yogurt cups with fruit topping; homemade fruit popsicles; or our Pumpkin Spice Halloween Bites. These options are still great treats, but with a healthier twist.
Is Organic Halloween Candy Really Worth The Expense?
In our view, the answer is a resounding YES! If your kids just can’t stay away from candy on Halloween, for your best health, we offer two suggestions.
1. Choose organic candy. Focus on quality, not quantity. Organic, dark chocolate is the best choice. It’s delicious, offers more nutritional value than non-organic choices, and is generally better for you than traditional hard candies or gummies — even the organic versions.
2. If you allow your child to indulge, it's still wise to choose healthier, organic candy or organic gummies from natural food stores without artificial flavors, colors and other chemicals that affect health, behavior and concentration.
Reminder: A little bit goes a long way! Even healthier candies and chocolates contain sugar. Check labels for choices with the least amount of sugar, and limit how much your kids eat. Even one night of too much sugar slows kids down, and weakens their immune defenses against colds and flu going around school.
Healthy Halloween Tips for Adults For Better Sugar Balance and Less Guilt
- Set a Positive Example: As adults, we play a crucial role in shaping our kid's habits. By practicing moderation and making healthier choices, we inspire children to do the same.
- Plan Ahead: If you're attending a Halloween party, have a light and healthy meal beforehand. This will help curb your appetite and make it easier to resist overindulging in sweets.
- DIY Halloween Treats: Get creative in the kitchen and make your own healthier Halloween treats using small amounts of locally-sourced, raw honey, 100% pure maple syrup, or dates. Opt for recipes that incorporate fresh nuts and seeds to increase the nutritional value. Note: Always check expiration dates as the delicate oils in nuts and seeds go rancid quickly. Rancid oils add stress on the liver and defeat the goal of enjoying a healthier treat.
- Stay Hydrated: Ensure you drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Sometimes, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking. Even worse, once you start snacking on sugar, your body may no longer crave water, even though you need it.
- Like we suggest for kids, choose organic whenever possible on all of your food and spice choices at your celebrations to reduce the toxic burden on your body. Limiting or avoiding alcohol is another good idea as excess alcohol, like sugar, has adverse health effects.
- Mindfulness: If you choose to enjoy some Halloween treats, practice mindfulness. Slow down, savor each bite, and appreciate the flavors. This mindful approach allows you to enjoy the treats while being aware of your body's signals of satisfaction.
Avoiding Excess Sugar without Artificial Sweeteners
- Natural Sweeteners: Instead of relying on toxic, health-damaging artificial sweeteners, try natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit (our favorite!). These alternatives provide sweetness without the negative health effects caused by excessive sugar consumption. Be aware of the correct quantities to use and opt for the least processed options.
- Spices and Flavorings: Enhance the taste of your desserts and mocktails with organic spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or vanilla extract. These flavors can give a pleasant, spicy sweetness without adding any sugar or artificial sweeteners. Experiment with different combinations to discover new and exciting flavor profiles.
Healthy Halloween Recipes
Pumpkin Spice Halloween Bites
- 1 cup certified, gluten-free cooked quinoa
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 scoop high quality, pea protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
- 2 tbsp locally-sourced, raw honey or 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut or hemp seeds (for topping, optional)
- In a mixing bowl, combine quinoa, pumpkin puree, pea protein powder, almond butter, locally-sourced honey or maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Mix until well combined and the mixture forms a dough-like consistency.
- Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.
- Optional: Roll the balls in coconut to coat the outside.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy these delightful and nutritious pumpkin spice energy bites as a healthier alternative to traditional Halloween sweets.
Healthy Mocktail Recipe: Spooky Green Apple Splash
- 1 cup bubbly mineral water
- ½ cup unsweetened, organic apple juice
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp locally-sourced, raw honey or 100% pure maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness)
- Ice cubes
- A few pinches spirulina powder (adds natural green coloring for a spooky effect)
- In a glass, combine mineral water, apple juice, lime juice, and locally-sourced, raw honey or maple syrup (if desired).
- Stir well until the sweetener is dissolved.
- Add the spirulina to give the mocktail a spooky appearance.
- Fill the glass with ice cubes.
- Garnish with Halloween-themed decorations for a fun twist.
- Serve chilled and enjoy this refreshing and healthier mocktail that captures the spirit of Halloween without excessive sugar.
Four Natural Sugar Rebalancing Recommendations If You Fall Off the Wagon
Important: While many supplements are formulated to be safe for children and adults alike, we recommend consulting with your child’s healthcare practitioner prior to use.
Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to go overboard with sugar during Halloween. If you couldn’t resist diving into the candy jar, here are our best recommendations to get back on track.
1. Break a sweat. Put on an exercise video, turn on some dance music, or go out for a brisk walk. Engaging in sweat inducing exercise will help burn off that extra sugar in your body right away.
2. Get some sleep. Try to go to bed early, especially if you have early morning obligations the day after Halloween.
- An hour before bed, drink some fenugreek tea with a pinch of cinnamon to help normalize high blood sugar levels.
- Just Relax™ is another great choice to unwind, promoting a more relaxed mood after your Halloween celebration.
Just Relax contains a specialized blend of Magnesium (as Di-Magnesium Malate); Inositol (as myo-inositol); Taurine; GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid); and L-Theanine (SunTheanine®) ~ all ingredients known to promote relaxation while supporting cognitive health. These nutraceuticals encourage a normal stress response, and a sense of profound calm and relaxation for adults and children alike.
For people with acute or chronic stress, Just Relax is a delicious way to support your brain and adrenals in dealing with the trials of the day. This supplement also supports hormonal balance and healthy glucose metabolism, especially important as we dive into the holiday season.
Just Relax comes in delicious, real cherry or watermelon-flavored powder. It uses no sugar or artificial sweeteners, and instead includes patented monk fruit extract to add a natural sweet flavor.
3. The day after Halloween, fight brain fog with Brain MagX™ with Cognizin®.
Overindulgence in sugar can leave you feeling mentally dull. Brain MagX is a wild blueberry brain and nervous system formula containing clinically proven nootropic (brain supporting) ingredients.
Brain MagX includes a triple magnesium complex along with the patented citicoline, Cognizin®. Clinically studied, Cognizin offers cognitive support from the inside. It supports long- and short-term memory, as well as both immediate and delayed memory. Additional studies have shown that Cognizin supports attention and focus. Most compelling is the fact that it helps support brain structure because of its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Cognizin® is backed by 48+ studies and published articles. It’s clinically proven to support multiple areas of brain health, including: brain cell membrane formation, memory, mental energy, focus, attention, dopamine receptor health, appetite control, optimal vision and healthy motor speed.
Magtein (Magnesium L-Threonate), is the only form of magnesium proven in animal studies to cross the blood-brain barrier and proven to raise the magnesium level in the brain. This is vital to healthy cognition; including supporting long- and short-term memory, learning, supporting clear thinking, and supporting a positive mood.
4. Give your immune system a boost with Zinc.
Research shows that consuming 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar (equal to 2.5 12 oz. cans of soda), temporarily reduces the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40%. Zinc is an essential mineral critical to supporting immune health. For your best health, eat more zinc-rich foods like wild fish and seafood (avoid all farmed fish); beans; chickpeas; lentils; nuts and seeds; and quinoa.
Explore a supplement like Zinc Defense™ with L-OptiZinc®. Zinc Defense contains clinically-backed ingredients designed to support the body’s natural immunity.
L-OptiZinc® is a Zinc mineral chelate, which when paired with quercetin, increases the absorption of Zinc into cells where it’s needed the most and provides the greatest benefit. This form of Zinc is proven to have 24% better absorption than Zinc oxide!
Quercefit® is a highly bioavailable form of Quercetin that uses phytosome technology, proven to enhance absorption by more than 20 times. Quercetin, the "Queen of flavonoids", has been shown to support healthy blood circulation and behave as a free radical fighter.
Pairing L-OptiZinc® and Copper allows the ability to develop a crucial antioxidant enzyme - Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase. Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase plays an important role as a key defense mechanism against free radical damage in the body.
Enjoy a Healthier Halloween Without All The Sugar
In conclusion, with these tips and strategies, both kids and adults can embrace a healthier Halloween while still enjoying the festivities. By making more conscious choices about treats, engaging in non-food activities, and incorporating healthier options including high quality nutritional supplements, we can create a memorable and healthier Halloween experience.
It’s fairly easy to avoid excess sugar just by using natural sweeteners, and exploring the wonderful world of spices and natural flavors. By setting a positive example and practicing moderation, we can foster healthy habits that will benefit us long after the Halloween season. If you do fall off the wagon, implement some of the recommendations in this article to get your mind and body back on track quickly.
Let's celebrate Halloween in a way that takes care of our bodies, and embraces the fun and excitement of this beloved holiday.
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