Halloween

Yes, my children will be trick-or-treating tonight. I am not a fan of this “holiday” but I am also not a fan of always going against the grain, so to speak. My oldest went to school for a few years and living in the united states, well, Halloween is almost everywhere. We live in a city so there is no escaping it without a huge fight. And because of having 3 kids, (eventually 4) old enough to trick-or-treat, I am not in to being the helicopter mom counting how much candy everyone is eating as we are walking. That just takes the enjoyment out of the night for everyone. I’d rather appreciate my kids excitement while myself enjoying the work and effort that people have put in to decorating their homes, than micro managing my kids.

I struggled with Halloween, released my resistance a bit, then struggled with it some more, then allowed it to be what it is. I go back and forth with this event and in all honesty I wish it didn’t exist or that I lived somewhere where the celebration of it was based around folk tales and spooky gatherings rather than candy.

But I live here. And my kids LOVE it. They love to dress up and they certainly love the candy! So I’ve let it go (mostly) and we go trick-or-treating. They never end up getting all the candy they gather because we very sneakily manage to make them think they ate it all.

There are two things that bother me about trick-or-treating:

  1. The sheer amount of “bad” candy and it what it does to a person’s health
  2. The lack of enjoyment of some (my) children at all the decorations and effort that goes in to making Halloween festive and being focused on how much candy can be acquired instead. They definitely stop and look at what people have created but it is only an afterthought. Personally, that is my (only) favorite thing about Halloween: the decorations and costumes.

For those two reasons I have started to do these things:

  1. Have them eat fiber and protein before we head out for trick or treating. Last year I had them drink this smoothie. This year I plan on having them drink a large cup of green soup, made with kale, broccoli, celery, beans and a few other veggies for flavor. We don’t leave the house until their cups are empty. They know this, they drink up 🙂
  2. And this year I am starting a new tradition of playing walking Halloween Bingo. I printed these off the internet. The kids seem excited about it, so we’ll see! The game will be very simple, as they just need to spot the things that are on the card and get an adult to check it off for them (to make sure they actually saw it and to also hopefully spark a conversation about the decorations they are seeing). If they fill out their whole card, they get a prize (non-edible). My hope is that in between running from doorbell to doorbell they will slow down and take the time to appreciate where we are.

Now, I know that not all children are not in to candy and not all children rush to fill up their bags, but I have 3 kids old enough to trick-or-treat, and when one of them is in that mood, it is so quick for the others to follow, and all it takes is for one running child to get all of us running. Hoping to slow things down this Halloween.

Please let me know if you have any “tricks” for your family so that you can all still enjoy the “treat” part of this celebration without too much back lash 🙂 Always looking for new inspiration over here!

 

 

Halloween Smoothie!!

It’s Halloween. For most families that means trick or treating and eating way too much sugar. Our family will definitely be ringing doorbells and filling up buckets with junk. The kids love it. It’s a really fun tradition and I don’t want to take that away from my kids when everyone else at school is talking about it. That said, their health still really matters to me and eating too much sugar is just bad. So I have come up with a solution: I make green smoothies. I do this when I know we will be going to an event where the kids will be eating way too much junk food. The kids are used to this by now, but I tell them we do not leave the house until they are done with their smoothie. They choose: “drink your smoothie and go out (trick or treating in this case), or don’t drink and stay home.” We’ve never stayed home 🙂

On Halloween night it should be even easier to get your kids to drink this:” It’s monster juice!”;  “It’ll help keep al the scary things away when we go to haunted houses!” Get creative!

The reason for a green smoothie is simple: they fill up on a really nutritious meal so that their bodies can handle what they are about to throw at it with more ease.

Fiber is huge in helping keep blood glucose levels from going out the roof. Fiber traps sugar as it passes through the intestines, therefor slowing down the rate at which your body digests it which helps reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to handle it. So eating lots of fiber before eating sugar, is one of the best things you can do if you are committed to eating sugar. This is one of the reasons why eating whole fruit is so different than just drinking the juice, which is void of fiber, therefore is just sugar. Protein has a similar effect.

I add fat to the smoothie in order to help feel full longer, in order to feel satiated. Fat triggers the pyloric valve between your stomach and small intestine. That valve is what slows down digestion and allows you to feel fuller longer as well as reduce sugar spikes.

When making a smoothie for good nutrition keep these things in mind. Does it have fiber? Does it have healthy fats? Does it have protein?

I don’t do this every time I make a smoothie. I do this when I make a smoothie before going to an event where I know we will be eating foods that I do not believe to contribute greatly to my health.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups packed of greens. I used all kale here. Make sure to use fresh greens, not frozen.
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 small apple with skin, cored
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 dates
  • 1 small chunk ginger (optional)
  • 8 ice cubes (optional, I just wanted the smoothie cold)

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until super smooth
  • Drink up!

This made about 40 oz. Enough for my little family of 5.