Trick-or-treat tips for a healthy, happy Halloween

Sonia Cervantes displays a Halloween skeleton tray for kids made with an assortment of veggies, along with a selection of fun decorated gourds. (photo by Sonia Cervantes)

Trick-or-treat tips for a healthy, happy Halloween

By Sonia Cervantes

It’s that time of the year again when we get to enjoy creative costumes, haunted trails, scary movies, pumpkins and, of course, lots and lots of candy! 

Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season. It is a favorite time for both kids and adults. 

If you have children, you know exactly what it means: candy overload!

Here are some “tricks” to help your kiddos have a safe and happy Halloween and avoid sugar binges:

• Make sure your kids eat a nourishing meal or snack before trick-or-treating. This will help you manage their sugar cravings.

• Pick a bag that is appropriate for your child’s age, never bigger than a shopping bag.

• While trick-or-treating on Halloween night, watch out for cars, wear reflective gear and carry a flashlight.

• Meet the Candy Fairy, also known as the “Switch Witch.” Sort your candy after trick-or-treating and have your kids set their candy by the door. After they go to sleep, you swap it out for a toy or any non-candy item they would like. This is a fun and exciting way for the kids to give up their candy and avoid eating too much sugar.

• Donate excess candy to Soldier’s Angels “Treats for Troops,” a Halloween candy collection program that local businesses like dental offices, gyms, schools and churches participate in. They accept excess Halloween candy from kids in exchange for different goodies. Look for one near you and make someone else’s day sweet!

• Teach kiddos portion control. Pair the leftover candy with a healthy snack and limit it to one or two treats per day. This allows them to enjoy special treats in moderation.

• Consider handing out non-candy treats. Options like small toys, natural fruit leather roll-ups, bouncy balls, stamps, mini-flashlights, stickers, glow sticks, bubbles, and mini-notebooks are very common. The “Teal pumpkin project” is a  movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids including those with food allergies or other conditions. Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available.

Have fun and enjoy a few pieces of candy. Halloween is only once a year!

Remember, healthy habits are formed every single day and should be part of your lifestyle. The “trick” to good health is to “treat” your body well. 

Enjoy this Healthy Veggie Skeleton treat with your kiddos (see photos). They will have fun while they eat their veggies!

Sonia Cervantes is a certified health coach, certified nutritionist, master herbalist and founder of Sonia’s Healthy Corner. Visit

Veggie Skeleton
A healthy and fun veggie tray in the shape of a skeleton includes carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, mushrooms, celery, cauliflower and dip. (photo by Sonia Cervantes)