Dining OutIs it possible to have a healthy Halloween? Isn’t it all candy and sugar and crazy bouncing off walls? How does a parent handle such a bag of plenty while still indulging in the fun?

Each household has to set its limits (on each and every issue!) Halloween is no exception. Decide ahead of the game how much time you will spend trick or treating and how many bags of candy one kid rally needs. Think about having a group gather at one household for a pizza party and a dress up event, it means less time on the streets trick or treating. Know that most of the fun is in the running around at night!

Consider what you will be shelling out and include the kids in the convo. Explaining that we are a peanut free household so we will choose X or that we think sugar is unhealthy so we will choose Y helps children understand why you will do whatever it is you do when they bring home their haul.

Giving out non-food items like pencils, post-its and mini play dough containers is cooler than it used to be. Luckily, helicopter parents are now the norm so there’s lots of us out there taking a firm stand against crap. There was once a woman who gave out whole grain crackers thinking she was really smart. The neighbourhood kids teased her and her daughter relentlessly the next year with the threat that they wouldn’t be coming to her house (ok, it was me). She didn’t see this as much of a threat, it just cost her less money on crackers the next year.

When you do get the candy home, you have some deciding to do. Seasoned parents employ many excellent and varied approaches (you may choose to employ a combo of many):

  1. Have kids separate what they truly love and what they don’t like into 2 piles. Toss or donate the un-likes.
  2. Give each child 7 paper bags (previously decorated in the theme of course!) and allow them to put 7 pieces into each bag. (one per day for the week). Chances are they will lose interest by week 7.
  3. Allow free eating for the first day or two and watch as the fervour diminishes. As it does, throw away bits at the bottom of the bag, they won’t miss it.
  4. Negotiate. Allow the child to keep one small pile for themselves and trade the rest for a coveted toy or money, whichever motivates your brood.

Be prepared for some sugar high days ahead but rest assured that they won’t last forever. Really, who is thinking about leftover Halloween candy when Christmas chocolate begins to appear?

Eyeball Meatballs
This recipe has been passed around our neighbourhood as the go-to meal for all parties of ghostly ilk. A simple meatball mixture wrapped around a pimento stuffed olive makes for a great scary meal. Set atop a platter of blood, er, tomato sauce and you will get some decent food into kids before they go out for the eve.

Eyeball Meatballs

Recipe By Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:10

  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 egg — beaten
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 pimento stuffed olives
  • 1 jar tomato sauce

Place ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion, and salt in bowl. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Gently press olive into centre of each ball a wrap meat mixture around olives. Place onto a baking sheet.

Bake in 350F oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked through.

Warm tomato sauce and pour onto a platter. Place cooked meatballs onto platter and serve.

Theresa Albert is an author and private, on call nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.theresaalbert.com