A Very Keto Halloween!
Halloween may look a little different this year, but there are still plenty of ways to make Halloween special while on keto therapy! Please follow all local guidance and consider your individual health and safety needs when considering Halloween activities during the pandemic. The CDC has provided some general guidance for the upcoming fall holidays, please make sure to read.
Embrace a keto Halloween as a family! Make this a special night where there is more to look forward to than candy.
- Start off the night by enjoying a keto friendly family meal. There are many spooky recipes and foods to make together. Chili is always a crowd pleaser and easy to make keto friendly. Bell peppers carved like a jack-o-lanterns are cute when filled with chili or zucchini noodles tossed in pesto – tell the kids it brains! Or, go with a pizza night and top keto pizzas with slices of cheese cut with cookie cutter ghost shapes and serve olive “eyeballs” on the side. Cut a low carb tortilla with a bat-shaped cookie cutter, drizzle with oil and season with salt. Bake until crispy and serve with guacamole. Visit our recipe link or our Pinterest Halloween Board to find inspiration for creative treats and keto friendly recipe ideas.
- Get the whole family dressed up in keto costumes. Kids delight in adults joining in on the fun! Do you want to be a family of avocados or a full breakfast platter? You can easily find costumes for bacon, egg, cheese, avocados, steak, fruit and even turkeys! On the other hand, if you can’t EAT the candy, BE the candy! There are many costumes that look like candy and sweets, some kids may love dressing up as a donut or gum ball machine and telling everyone they are keto friendly. ·
- Participate in “Awareness” Pumpkin Projects. Teal Pumpkin Project lets trick or treaters know that a house has allergy friendly items. Often these are small toys and trinkets, but can be any allergy friendly treat. The Purple Pumpkin Project is a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Foundation of America where participants paint a pumpkin purple to encourage awareness about epilepsy. ·
- Plan an alternate activity that does not involve collecting candy. Putting a show on for your family with your costumes can bring out the silly side in everyone. Acting out a story from a favorite book can also be fun and encourage creativity. Halloween puzzles and games are available too.
- Skip the candy and give out keto friendly treats, snacks or toys. Lots of families like to give out inexpensive slime, glow sticks, stickers, pencils, and other trinkets.
Support special needs. How can you make an over-stimulating night more comfortable for your child? Consider your child’s specific needs, concerns and preferences. You can also read a great article from the Epilepsy Foundation of America, it outlines helpful tips for seizure safety during Trick or Treating.
- If your child is non-verbal or shy, check out these cool bags that help them express what well meaning neighbors expect them to say on Halloween. We found an Angelman Syndrome specific bag and there are many Etsy shops that makes Autism , special needs and other unique bags. You can also make your own bag with wording appropriate for your child with supplies from a craft store.
- The oldest trick in the books for a keto Halloween is to pass out keto friendly candy, treats, or trinkets to neighbors ahead of time. For the younger kids, this approach often works well. They are content with just a few stops and usually don’t understand the concept of exchanging the candy for something else later. If you are friendly with a few neighbors, provide them with treats appropriate for your child ahead of time. This allows the child to keep everything they collect.
- Stay hydrated and use a water bladder backpack. This can be disguised or easily hidden under a costume. A water bladder may help encourage proper hydration, especially if there is a lot of walking. Plus, no one wants to carry a heavy water bottle!
- If it is still warm where you live, consider a phase-change cooling vest under a bulky costume. This will help keep core body temperature lower, possibly helping to prevent heat triggered crankiness, seizures or other adverse events. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you may be able to add a sleeve to hold the cooling packs directly inside the costume.
- Make them shine! Many kids are still a little afraid of the dark, and it is wise to make your kids as visible as possible while trick or treating. Go beyond a few glow sticks and add battery powered led lights to their costumes. Headlamps and inflatable solar LED lamps are easier to carry and more effective than flashlights. You can also help them be more visible by adding reflective tape to their costumes or clothing.
Trick or Treat for a cause.
- Skip the candy collection and support a good cause instead. UNICEF was created in 1950 to support children after WWII, the small orange collection boxes will be familiar to many baby boomers! If your neighborhood has social media groups, consider sharing your child’s fundraising plans ahead of trick or treat so they can be prepared when your little unicorn or zombie comes around. UNICEF has a virtual platform for 2020 due to the pandemic but still includes fun ways to engage kids with virtual costume reveals and fun projects!
Exchange the candy for something else. If you child is older and wants to collect five pounds of candy they can not eat, turn it into candy currency! The sky is the limit for things candy can be exchanged for. Have fun brainstorming this as a family, and see what kinds of ideas your kids come up with, these ideas will make for the best exchanges.
- Money talks for older kids. Pay per piece or per pound. If you want to incorporate a math lesson, assign a monetary value to each type of candy and have them add it all up. You do have to work for your money after all!
- Swap the candy for favorite keto snacks and treats. Have fun making some homemade keto Halloween treats, there are endless recipes online to choose from and we have a few great ones too! Chocolate Caramel Cookie Fat Bombs, Gelatin Gummies, & Avocado Ice Cream.
- You can also try the “Switch Witch”. There are a few poems and story books that go along with this concept, but basically its as easy as putting the candy in a special location and the Switch Witch will take it away and replace it with something else… long after kids are asleep of course (You do not need to buy a special kit btw.. there are free poems if you search online!). Lego sets, doll accessories, video games, gift cards, whatever your child will enjoy!
- Trade the candy for “experiences”. Availability and safety for public outings should be considered for each individual during the pandemic. Purchase tickets for places and events your kids enjoy or have been asking to go to, but make sure to have the actual tickets on hand to seal the deal. Trips to amusement parks, rock climbing centers, trampoline parks, pottery painting shops, etc. are all fun things kids like to do, with the added bonus that they’ll create lifelong family memories which is more valuable than a bag full of candy any day.
Get the candy out of the house! Participate in the fun of collecting candy then find a way to donate or pass on the candy. Most of us don’t want leftover Halloween candy sitting around, there are several effective methods to make it disappear… poof!
- Find out of your dentist participates in the national Halloween Candy Buy Back program. Typically kids can bring their loot to the dentist and they will provide some type of “compensation”. This could be everything from a toothbrush to cash, so you may want to investigate beforehand. All the candy collected is donated to servicemen and women.
- Donate to US troops directly. There are a few of charities that help distribute candy to deployed service members, check them out! Operation Gratitude & Soldiers Angels.
Happy KETO Halloween everyone!!