Celebrating Halloween Your Way

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. It’s also one of the most controversial, judging from a religious aspect. With its roots steeped in ancient festivals that honored the transition from this life to death, it’s no surprise that many religious people objected to Halloween’s parade of scary costumes that are rife with scenes from the macabre. When it comes to celebrating Halloween, it’s important to embrace this holiday in a manner that feels comfortable for you and your family.

I’ve seen everything from Halloween parties equipped with ouija boards and marathon movie nights of every Michael Myers film known to man and religious observances that refused to speak the word “Halloween” instead opting for “Hallelujah” night. The premise was they would celebrate the “Risen Christ” and Eternal Life rather than the time-honored tradition of honoring the changing seasons that witness the death of leaves, summer flowers, and beautiful green lawns as fall gives way to the cold, dark months of winter. (Let’s not even mention the souls of the dead who are said to walk the earth on Samhain (October 31). 

Whatever your personal faith or lack thereof, it’s important that you celebrate Halloween in a way that is right for you and your family, while respecting the traditions and celebrations of others. After all, what makes for a decent society. 

The costumes you choose, the decorations you put up, and the games you play are all part of your Halloween observance and can range from the horrifying and scary to those that are tame and innocuous.  Besides the way you celebrate Halloween, there are some other things that should be considered long before October 31st comes around: What you and your children will eat on Halloween!

Binge eaters may actually dread Halloween and associate it with a time where they will lose control and simply pig out on as much candy as they can get their hands on. Not only is this harmful to any adult’s waistline, it’s also a bad example to set for children.

Make certain not to go trick-or-treating while hungry as that will increase the temptation to eat candy before it’s been thoroughly inspected and will reduce the chance of overeating.

Have you ever considered how much sugar, fat, and chemical additives are in an entire Halloween haul? Eating all of your Halloween candy at once is simply not a good thing to do for your health or the health of your children, regardless how tempting it might be.

To avoid problems, why not talk to your children (especially if they are young) and let them know that they will be allowed to choose a specific amount of candy from their haul and then let them pick the ones they would like to eat. This should avoid any last minute Halloween meltdowns that could arise and your child/children may have fun choosing the best candy to enjoy from their stash.

If you do struggle with your weight, keep in mind that the small packs of candy are not going to hurt your waistline as long as you eat them in moderation. Prepare yourself ahead of time and remind yourself that you are fully capable of resisting the urge to binge eat at Halloween, as well as any time of year. 

But what if your child has specific food allergies? What can be done in this situation? There’s no question that trick or treating can be a bit of a drag for children with food allergies. What’s the point in getting tons of candy if your child is unable to eat it? It’s no surprise that many families who have children with food allergies choose to forego trick or treating altogether and plan something else instead.

Nationwide Children’s has a list with some wonderful tips for families who are dealing with food allergies as they navigate Halloween. You may read those tips here: Six Tips for Trick-or-Treating with Food Allergies.

No matter how you celebrate Halloween, talk to your family ahead of time about how you will celebrate this year to ensure everyone is on the same page. Let your children share their ideas and opinions regarding the celebration as well and take their opinions into consideration. 

Happy Halloween!



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