Ghost wearing sunglasses waiting for Halloween candy.

Boo! Did I get ya? Over the past 3 years we have been through some pretty scary changes as a country and as a society. As things are slowly inching towards “normalcy,” we are doing fun traditions again, such as trick-or-treating for Halloween candy, and even adding in some new ones, like the Teal Pumpkin Project where you trick-or-treat for non-food-based treats.

Today I am going to give you a Halloween 2022 run-down and go over important topics as we jump back into fall this year. I’ll start with the most recent COVID-19 guidelines relevant to Halloween, and also touch on a newer tradition in the Halloween world that is the Teal Pumpkin Project. Then, I’ll leave you with a few tips and tricks on how to space out Halloween candy to prevent binge eating or starting bad habits. 

We have all been through a lot in the past couple of years and deserve a little fun this Halloween! Hopefully this article will give you some new ideas or reminders on how to make you and your loved one’s Halloween even better for everyone. Happy Spooky Season! 

Updated Halloween Health & Safety Measures  

Last year there were many sources publishing safe ways to enjoy Halloween during a pandemic, including the CDC. They recommended trick-or-treating in small groups while wearing a mask and limiting Halloween parties and gatherings. Some neighborhoods even took precautions such as canceling trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods. 

Luckily for us, trick-or-treating is traditionally an outdoor activity, and according to Dr. Gary Kirkilas from the American Academy of Pediatrics, following that tradition this year is the safest way to enjoy Halloween.

Teal Pumpkin Project 

Every child deserves a good Halloween trick-or-treating experience. It’s like an American rite of passage! But unfortunately that hasn’t been the case for everyone, especially those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Halloween can be a hard holiday to enjoy for kids and parents with kids who are allergic to ingredients that show up in typical Halloween candies. 

Thankfully in 2012, Becky Basalone started the Teal Pumpkin Project. This simple but impactful project includes putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep if you offer non-food-based trinkets to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Some ideas on what to offer include: play-dough, crayons, bracelets, stickers, or toy spiders. You can find these and many others in the dollar sections at Target and Walmart to keep it cost friendly. There are also a few types of candy that are free-from the Top 9 allergens, like Dots, Skittles, and Ring Pops, which are a nice option to hand out on the big night as well. 

Check out this FEI article that goes more in depth on the Teal Pumpkin Project and how you can participate. 

What to do With All That Halloween Candy 

Did you know that kids can collect 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of candy just on Halloween night? Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about Halloween candy, but that much sugar seems like a recipe for disaster. Lots of kids have a sweet tooth and instantly crave to eat the mountains of candy they get trick-or-treating as soon as they get it. However, fulfilling that craving turns into health issues like stomach aches and can set up bad habits later. 

While it is important to teach kids self-control around their Halloween candy for health reasons, it is also nice to space out eating sessions in order to make the candy (and the fun memories of trick-or-treating) last longer. One way to do this is to lay out all of the candy your kids get and have them pick their favorites and prioritize what they really want. Make a plan with them to determine how many pieces they are allowed to have a day. This routine helps promote self-control and good habits, while also controlling calorie and sugar intake. 

You can also plan on setting a specific time of the day your kids can eat their candy. After dinner, for example, is a good time to allow kids their candy. This prevents overeating and your kids can look forward to that part of the day. You could also agree to send a piece or two in their school lunch for dessert. 

Also consider, with your kids, donating leftover candy to Treats for Troops or other organizations in your community. This is a fun way to get kids excited about service and let them know they are helping others.

Similar Posts