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Talk about a scary Halloween....

Halloween is right around the corner. This year, it's not only kids who are getting a bit spooked. The big question on everyone's mind right now is What To Do About Halloween??

Every year, Halloween is a chance for kids to let their imaginations run wild, spend an evening inhabiting their favorite persona while meeting neighbors and friends, fueled by refined sugars and artificial colorings. This year, though, things will probably be a bit different.

For one thing, the threat of COVID continues to loom large and puts a damper on parties and door-to-door visits. Additionally, given what we know about risk factors for severe COVID illness, this is probably a year to forgo the excessive sweets.

However, I think that this year, more than ever, we (adults included!) need a break from the stress all around us. In some ways, we need a Halloween more than ever. The important question, is how can we celebrate safely?

Check out Dr. Tiff's top 10 tips on a safe and fun Halloween 2020 below!

10. Go crazy with home decor. (and decorate early!)

What better way to get into the spirit of the season than with some fun decorations in the home? Bust out those stretchy spider webs, glowing lights, skeletons, ghouls...anything and everything. Give yourself a bit of holiday fun to enjoy the next few weeks in and around your home. Spread the Halloween fun out over a few weeks to prolong the excitement!

9. Channel your inner Michaelangelo or Monet.

Who doesn't have fun carving a good pumpkin? If possible, take a trip to a local pumpkin patch so your kids can choose their favorite off the vine. (You also might be able to pick up some tasty squashes or apples!) Pumpkin carving is great because it can be fun for all ages. Toddlers will love touching the squishy pumpkin innards while older kids might enjoy decorating their pumpkin with paint or glitter or googly eyes. Teens and adults enjoy the challenge of wielding the mini-saws and carving away.

8. Scavenger hunts aren't just for Easter anymore.

Throw on some festive music and let the kids loose in the house or yard to discover hidden ghosts or spiders. Want a challenge? For older kids, use a treasure map and leave a trail of clues to reach a final surprise!

7. Cosy up on the couch for a ghoulishly fun film.

Who doesn't love a good movie night? Nobody. Light some candles or string lights for some mood lighting and curl up with your favorite flick. Added fun if you bust out some sleeping bags or a tent on the living room floor.

6. Get your garden involved in the fun.

I'm a huge advocate of getting your kids active in the garden. Helping to cultivate plants is rewarding and builds a love for nature. Add some flowers to your garden that open their blooms at night. What a spooky surprise! Check out Evening Primrose, Sweet Nicotiana, Moonflowers or Midnight Candy Night Phlox.

5. Bats in the Belfry. (...Or, skeletons in the shade. Or witches in the ditches.)

Make a fun game for your toddlers or young kids with a daily hunt and find game. Move your Halloween props around after the kids go to bed, and then enjoy the 10 minutes of searching in the morning! I would stop short of telling them directly that the creatures are moving on their own - I wouldn't want to inadvertently really scare them with thoughts of inanimate objects coming to life in their own house. :)

4. Make some new friends.

Pick up a bale or two of hay and have fun creating some decorative mannequins. Stuff clothes with the hay (tie off the ankles and wrists first) and pose them however you like. Things always feel more festive with company around!

3. Throw on your aprons and bake some festive treats.

Risk for severe COVID infection is heightened in individuals with poor glucose tolerance, diabetes, obesity or metabolic syndrome. Additionally, refined sugars and grains create inflammation in the body which can impair the immune system from functioning at its best. But, don't worry! There are a wealth of treats that you can find which don't contain added sugars and are packed with flavor. My girls helped me whip up these pumpkin bars from The Real Food Dietitians last week and they were a hit!

2. Arrange a video Halloween party with family or friends!

We are all getting more comfortable with virtual meetings; be it for school, work meetings, birthday parties or doctor's visits. Why not a Halloween party? Get creative with music, face paint or reading spooky stories.

1 Coordinate with neighbors for a socially distant trick-or-treating experience. If you live on a particularly festive street, consider organizing a safe Halloween experience. Individually wrapped packages of small toys or games lined up along the sidewalk would be super fun for the kids. Kids can experience the fun of walking house to house and collecting goodies, without the risks of face-to-face exposure to others.

Nothing makes me happier than watching my kids have wonder-filled, squealing, shrieking, laughing fun. Let's get into the spirit together this year.

Wishing you a safe and healthy and SUPER FUN Halloween!


Dr. Tiff


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