Thursday, October 27, 2011

The scariest night of all is here!

     Halloween is just around the corner, which means Trick-or-Treat is coming up, too!

     If you’re anything like me, you haven’t quite gotten around to buying stuff to hand out yet (no big deal, the kids at my apartment complex are trick-or-treating tonight, I have plenty of time, right?!).

     Before you buy bags of candy, stop and think for a minute- Do you really want five bags of chocolate in your house? There’s always leftovers that end up getting eaten by the family, plus the candy that the kids come home with, which ends up being way more candy and chocolate than would be in your house any other time of the year.

      But what else can you give out as a healthier alternative? Most people are leery of fresh, unpackaged fruit, but now you can get pre-portioned snack bags of apples or carrots.

     I did a quick search for healthy granola bars for kids, and the first one I noticed was the Kashi TLC Layered Granola Bar in Peanutty Dark Chocolate. It looks delicious. I compared the granola bar’s nutritional info to a serving of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and I can’t say I was surprised. The granola bar had 8.5 fewer grams of fat, 80 fewer calories, 4 fewer grams of carbs, 14 fewer grams of sugar, and 3 more grams of fiber. Overall, a healthier option, and it looks yummy- dark chocolate and peanuts? Yes please!

Some other healthier options are:
  • Stickers 
  • Pencils 
  • Bubbles 
  • Erasers 
  • Bags of pretzels or popcorn 
  • Bags of crasins 

     Some of the healthier options can be a little expensive though, and by this point, the jumbo bags of candy are probably discounted, which can make them more appealing. So, here’s proposal number 2: glow sticks! You can get 8 glow sticks for a dollar at some stores. That’s less than 14 cents apiece. Plus, glow sticks are awesome, and they help others see kids as they walk around in the Halloween darkness.

     Now that we’ve talked about a few healthy alternatives to candy, let’s talk safety.

     There are going to be a lot of people out, all in costume. It can be really scary if you lose sight of your little one in a sea of other kids in the same costume. So I talked to Butch Rhoderick, former police officer and head of security at Meritus Medical Center, for a few tips.

Here’s what he suggests:
  • Use common sense. Small children must be accompanied by an adult or responsible teenager at all times. 
  • Make sure kids are wearing something reflective AND carrying a flashlight or lantern. This makes them more visible to cars and you. 
  • Don’t take your kids to a neighborhood that you’re not familiar with. 
  • Visit the online sex offender registry and avoid any registered houses. 
  • Don’t accept unwrapped or improperly wrapped candy. Go through your child’s bag of candy when you get home, before letting them eat it. (Plus, then you can grab your favorite candy!) 
  • Tell your kids that if anyone threatens them for their candy, give it to the person threatening them. Tell them you’ll buy them more. (Plus, then your kids can get all of their favorite candies, and none of the ones that end up lying around the house for weeks because no one likes them!) 

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!

By Kayla Murphy

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