I am a Nutritionist, and my kids eat candy on Halloween

I am a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and my kids eat candy on Halloween. Here's my MO for Halloween. I host a family trick-or-treating party because we live in an urban/suburban area with awesome trick-or-treating, while lots of our friends do not. Everyone comes early, and I feed the kids a hearty dinner. My strategy is to fill them up with lots of nutritious food. This year, I'm making fun, delicious Halloween fare (Pinterest inspired) just for the kids! I have a range of picky to adventurous eaters coming, and I want everyone to feel comfortable and enjoy the meal. Check out my tasting menu for the kids (first I set a really festive table for them):

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Then everything is served family style, so they pick what they want...

Mummy English Muffin Pizza

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Spaghetti and Bolognese (aka brain matter) spilling out of "jack-o-lanterns" !!!

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Spooky farfalle! (fresh from my recent trip to Italy)

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Some fruity sides...

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

An old standby - spiders on logs...

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Carrot Apple muffins

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

"Candy corn" yogurt parfait

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

And Butternut squash soufflé (sorry, picture not available yet)...

Trick-or-treating with a herd of kids promises to be total mayhem! Throw in adults, in costume, and well, that's a party! When the kids finish on our street, they come back to sort and trade candy, (which seems to be as much fun as actually eating the candy they choose). The grownups dig into my slow-cooker chicken chili and salad, and let's not forget the wine!

My rule for my own kids is to pick three pieces of candy to eat on Halloween night. I think it teaches them how to operate when tempting food is everywhere. Candy isn't my thing - I would much rather indulge in some fabulous dark chocolate soufflé. But hey, Halloween and candy go together, and I embrace it as a celebration. Overly restricting kids makes them want the "forbidden" foods more. So with my kids, I try to encourage them to enjoy in moderation, once in awhile. The night after Halloween, they pick two pieces of candy, and usually by the third or fourth night after Halloween, they have forgotten or tired of their candy, and it disappears. So there you have it - there is no one right way to handle Halloween, but this is what works for us. 

Petite Nutrition supports #tealpumpkinproject

Petite Nutrition supports #tealpumpkinproject

This year I am participating in the #tealpumpkinproject. Outside our house will sit a teal pumpkin to show that as a Registered Dietitian and mom of a child with food allergies, I support kids with food allergies. In addition to passing out candy, I have a separate bowl of small, non-food treats so all children can have a fun and safe Halloween. For more information on this new project, check out FARE's (Food Allergy Research and Education)'s Facebook page.

I would love to hear your plans for Halloween! How do you handle the candy craze? Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram and share!