Think healthy for Halloween

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2008

As families continue to seek improved health, there are many parties and events throughout the year — like Halloween, for instance — where healthier options may require a little creativity.

In order to encourage families to make healthy choices this fall, the Suffolk Family YMCA would like to offer some healthy ideas that can be used for grab bags, goodie bags, and parties.

Instead of buying candy, head to a bulk party store, Halloween store, or club warehouse for some fun, inexpensive and simple party items. Mini crayons, bubbles, play dough, temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, rubber bugs, spider rings, decorated pencils, festive erasers, animal crackers or pretzels can be great alternatives this fall.

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Remember, fall is a fabulous time of year to be active as a family. At the Suffolk Family YMCA, we encourage you to make family time a priority and try something new together.

Pick your own pumpkin from a pumpkin patch this fall. Pumpkins are not only a popular decoration during the autumn months, but they also pack a lot of important nutrition. Pumpkin is a good source of fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A and beta-carotene, to name just a few nutrients, and the seeds are a great source of omega-3 fats.

Try preparing a food this month using pumpkin, such as a pumpkin shake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup or bake pumpkin seeds. Many brands of canned pumpkin contain just pumpkin, with no additional ingredients, making it an affordable and healthy choice.

The Suffolk Family YMCA also wants to remind all members to join us this Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. for our annual Halloween party. Walk through our fun house — if you dare — play games, make creepy crafts, enjoy treats, and dance with DJ Smove. Fun costumes are encouraged, but scary costumes will not be turned away.

This is a free event and yet another way the Suffolk Family YMCA encourages our families to take time to play! Register now at the Suffolk Family YMCA or by going online to