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Whether you’re into dressing up like witches and goblins and going door-to-door asking for a treat, October 31st is around the corner. Halloween is widely celebrated in the U.S. In fact, Americans purchase over 600 million pounds of candy in anticipation of trick or treaters. This is a total of nearly $2billion! This is truly a horrifying nightmare for those of us dedicated to being Brain Warriors. There is candy lurking everywhere!

Even if you normally feed your children healthy, they are bombarded by sweet “treats” at school and other functions. It almost makes you forget that there are healthy options available. You may feel like it is impossible to make this holiday healthy for your little ones, but I beg to differ! I’ve been engaging in healthy Halloween traditions for years. In fact, I’m happy to report that all of my traditions are easy to do and implement into your household! These options are well worth your time for the sake of your kids. With a little bit of planning, you too can enjoy a sugar-less (even if not totally sugar-free) Halloween!

These tips can help you avoid some common sugar traps this Halloween:

1. Carve pumpkins. Pumpkin carving is a great tradition. Channel your inner sculptor or painter and see what you can create with this nutritious vegetable. I have recipes for pumpkin muffins, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin smoothies, and more in my book, The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.

2. Throw a Halloween bash. If you throw a bash, you can surprise everyone with delicious treats that no one will suspect are healthy, I promise. Some of my part favorites are my Lemon Squares, Nutty Butter Cups, Sugar-Less Cookies, Fudgy Brownies, Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins and Frozen Bananas.

3. Give out cool Halloween toys or cash instead of candy. Pencils, spider rings, Japanese erasers, glow sticks, or stickers are a great way to enjoy Halloween without all of the sugar-laden candy. Giving out quarters is another great option that most kids love.

4. Be a Candy Witch! For years when Chloe would come home from Trick or Treating with a bag of candy, we would negotiate a handful of candy that she could keep. The rest I would buy back from her. Initially she didn’t like this idea much. However, by the time she was eight or nine she warmed up to the idea of getting money for going out and having fun with her friends. She still got to keep a few of her favorite pieces of candy (which she would never otherwise find in our house). As you can imagine, the bags of candy grew larger each year. I’m just warning you, be ready to pay up if you use this tactic. Check out the recipe below to get you started. Some of these treats may also be great party snacks for school parties. My daughter’s 5th grade teacher told me that Halloween was the holiday she dreaded every year because kids were too high on sugar to focus on anything of value in class. By offering some of these delicious snacks, you just might become teacher’s pet.

The Brain Warrior’s Way is a family friendly way of living and eating. It is much more effective when the whole family is participating. Your children will enjoy taking charge of their own healthy lifestyle more readily when they are introduced to it at a young age, however it is never too late to start. This is what we did with my daughter Chloe who went through a stage of defiance, but her friends now look to her as a role model and leader in healthy living. For more recipes and tips like this check out The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.