Trick or Treat!

Halloween is just around the corner and we are busy with preparations.  Costumes, decorations, treats for the ghosts and goblins who will visit, teal paint and veggie sticks.  My Halloween prep has me thinking about and organizing for our children and my training.  I am still waiting for my doctor’s appointment to get the all clear to start running but until then, I am making sure I fuel my body to stay healthy.  Sometimes that is as hard as a going for a run!

Just like surviving a race takes some work ahead of time, so does Halloween.  I’ve made a commitment to my health and training but Halloween can easily derail those well laid out plans.  Halloween is scary not only because of the frightening costumes on the night of the 31st , but also for the days following while that big bowl of the children’s loot begs you to take just one more treat.  Just like preparing for a race requires planning, so does defeating that scary candy stash.

I never avoid treats or not so healthy, yet yummy goodies completely.  I prefer to let treats into my diet in moderation.  On Halloween night, I will totally raid my kiddos loot bags with them!  Someone has to make sure everything is safe, right?  I will not feel guilty about this and I will enjoy the evening with my kiddos!  I will, however, make sure that I eat super healthy beforehand and restrict how much sneaking I do in the days following Halloween.

Best tricks for that? Having healthy alternatives available that are just as easy to grab as the mini Crispy Crunch bar or bag of Cheetos.  Having fruits and veggies like carrot sticks, broccoli, grapes, or berries washed and in easy to grab containers placed front and center in the fridge.  Making sure the yogurt doesn’t get pushed to the back and forgotten.  Splurging a little on something that I love to put in my smoothie but usually pass on because it is just too expensive.  And the biggest trick is to determine my daily treat amount before the day comes and stick to it – even if it means putting the snacks in a paper bag with the date written on it.  When the bag is empty, the treats for the day are done.  Challenging myself to leave something in the bag at the end of the day is a great way to push the mental training that will be used later on a hard run!

Halloween preparations don’t end there.  My kiddos are 7, 12, 15, and 17 years old.  Halloween doesn’t look the same as it did even 5 years ago.  It’s a little sad to watch the older kids want to participate in the fun activity of dressing up and Trick or Treating, but thinking they are just too old for it now.  My idea is to encourage them to enjoy themselves regardless of their age.  As long as they are being respectful and are having fun, where’s the harm in teens Trick or Treating?  Having old costumes on hand in case they decide last minute to give it a go is a must!  I’m ready whatever they decide!  I’ve also stocked up on full sized treats for those teens that find the courage to enjoy the evening and come Trick or Treating at our door!

Last item on the Halloween to-do list is preparing to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.  Our two youngest children are lactose intolerant and they will not be able to eat many of the candies they will receive while Trick or Treating.  It has been a non-issue for us in the past because they would simply trade with their older siblings for goodies they could eat.  It will however be an issue if the teens decide not to Trick or Treat this year and they have no one to trade with.  It has made me pay attention to the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project allows children with allergies to quickly identify homes where non-food items as well as treats will be handed out on Halloween night.  The website http://www.foodallergy.org has free printable flyers that can be hung on the front door to identify the house as a Teal Pumpkin Project participant, as well as more information on the project.  The Trick or Treaters with allergies know that Teal Pumpkin homes will have small items such as toys and craft items for them to enjoy.  Many families also paint a pumpkin teal to decorate their front step.  I visited our local Dollar Store and picked up some fun things for our Trick or Treaters.  Nothing big and if I have left overs, I can stash them away for my own kids on rainy days.  The Teal Pumpkin Project is a great initiative to help with the challenges of Halloween for those with allergies.

So our home is prepared as we can be for Halloween 2015!  I hope everyone has a safe and spooktacular evening!