Healthy Eating

Safe, Healthy and Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Kids trick or treating with masks on

Halloween is on the horizon, and even with everything going on this year, it doesn’t have to put a damper on your spirits.

Many of us have broken out the spooky decorations, pumpkins, and cobwebs galore, and depending on where you live in Canada, stocking up on Halloween essentials for your yearly trick-or-treaters.

Halloween decorations made out of peppers

What makes this year so different, is keeping health and safety in focus while celebrating the fun traditions of Halloween. Here are some ideas for keeping things festive whether you’re trick or treating or staying in.

For Trick or Treaters

In areas where small get-togethers and trick or treating are a go, here are some safety tips and clever ideas for healthier handouts.

Go for Naturally Sweet Treats

The additives in some common Halloween treats can be even scarier than a haunted house. Artificial colours, flavours and the high sugar content in certain candies don’t do kids’ health any favours – at a time when keeping them healthy has never been more important. Naturally sweet dried fruits, granola bars (nut-free) or candies and organic juice boxes made with natural sweeteners, such as fruit, dates, and honey are great alternatives to candies made with processed corn-based sweeteners and conventional sugar. Check out the aisles of your local CHFA member health food store for a wide assortment of healthy, fun treats.

Think Outside of the Candy Wrapper

Who said sweets were the only thing to hand out when costumed kids arrive at your door on this festive evening? With many kids in school this time of year, a Halloween-themed mini-notebook, pencil, or eraser makes the perfect addition to their treat bags. While it may not give them the sugar fix they often anticipate, you’ll be giving them a fun and practical item to show off at school the next day.

Enjoy in Moderation

When you add up the many doorsteps kids visit on Halloween, their stash can get big—and fast! Do your part to lessen the amount of sugar consumed, by handing out one treat (or individual small bags) and avoid having kids reach into baskets or bowls – to keep contamination to a minimum. After arriving home, negotiate the portioning out of treats for the upcoming week (rather than a free-for-all that can lead to binge eating, sugar highs and tummy aches).

Adhere to Local Public Health Rules & Guidelines

  • Do not go out if you are sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Only go out with members of your household.
  • Only trick-or-treat outside.
  • Trick-or-treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. Face-covering costumes aren’t substitutes for a face covering – and shouldn’t be worn over a face covering, as it may make it difficult to breathe.
  • Don’t linger on doorsteps and social distance, leaving two metres apart if waiting.
  • For collecting or handing out treats, wash hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t leave “self-serve” treats out for little hands to grab and consider using tongs to hand out treats.

For Celebrating at Home

For some – home is the safest spot to be this October 31. Even in places deemed safe for trick or treating others are simply taking more precautions, and not everyone will be heading out on Halloween. But there’s still fun to be had!

As with any festive day, there are many ways to celebrate with family and friends and take part in traditions a little differently.

Treat Yourselves

Salted Caramel Frosted Brownies Recipe

Halloween celebrations have connections to the fall harvest, and there are delicious ways to enjoy this tradition. Here are some of our favourite autumn recipes that feature seasonal ingredients that can be enjoyed at home.

Get in the Spirit

Put a little extra effort into decorating your house this year and encourage neighbours to do so as well for a spooky atmosphere.

Adults and children carving pumpkins outdoors.

Here are some fun activities you can host at home to get into the spirit of Halloween:

  • Share ghost stories
  • Age-appropriate scary movies
  • A scavenger hunt for treats
  • Festive crafts i.e. pumpkin carving or making your own costumes
  • Virtual costume party or contest with friends and family

There are also some outdoor activities to enjoy, like corn mazes, outdoor movie screenings and haunted city walks that have social distancing strategies put in place so people can participate safely. Check your local listings for activities in your area.

Don’t be scared of celebrating! While Halloween may not come with its usual traditions this year – you can still dress up, enjoy festive treats, and have fun getting a little spooked. Happy Halloween!

As part of the senior leadership team, Michelle develops implements and leads communication initiatives that support the strategic priorities of the Association. She is responsible for overseeing the integrated communications strategy including both internal and external communications, the management of all public relations, marketing, advertising and member communications.