Halloween is a fun holiday for kids. The piles of candy, costumes, pumpkin carving and harvest parties are not something to be dreaded, in fact, parents can rest assured that these traditions are good for their kids, (and themselves). Jump into the Halloween holiday and know that as you do, you are building your family, helping your emotions and mood, and pursuing healthy habits together.
Halloween Traditions: First of all, because families often follow the same general course of action every Halloween, the family is strengthened. A slew of studies show that celebrating together builds family identity. says, Susan Coady, Ph.D of Ohio State University. College students miss the holiday traditions the most when they move away. The simple things that you do each year make a huge impact in your children’s lives.
Pumpkins. Some families, like mine, head out to the same pumpkin patch each year to hunt for our perfect pumpkins. All the while imagining the face we want to carve in our special find. This Halloween tradition is said to stimulate creativity, in children and the adults who participate. So carve away, enjoy the goopy mess, it’s like getting a vacation from stress. Another benefit for kids; hand-eye coordination is also strengthened through the process.
Harvest Party or Trick or Treating. Whichever one your family enjoys, this time out with neighbors and friends is also healthy and good for you. This interaction boosts happiness according to a Candian research. Socializing with neighbors actually provides a bigger boost than hanging out with friends. Why? This study shows that being able to trust your neighbors is a large variable in your life satisfaction.
Costumes. Dressing up let’s go of stress. Kids get a chance to express themselves with their costume choice and if you dress up alongside them, not only do you get a chance to release your inner child, but it can help you connect on a silly level with your kids.
Candy. Choose the right candy and it can be good for you, in small doses. Dark chocolate is full of heart-healthy flavonoids. Peanut-based candies have protein and antioxidants, coconut is full of good for you fat that is burned for energy and also has antiviral, antimicrobial effects. At least, according to Woman’s World magazine. The other side of it is, occasional treats are enjoyable and so, good for you, in a way. moving on…
Pumpkin Seeds. This one I can stand behind, pumpkin seeds are good for you, they are high in protein, include iron, phosphorus, and sleep inducing trytophan. The World’s Healthiest Foods book by George Mateljan includes pumpkin seeds and states that these little seeds can also reduce the inflamatory symptoms of arthritis
Getting Scared. While I am personally not a fan of scary things, the truth is, getting scared releases an endorphin rush, also known as happy hormones. When you are scared and safe at the same time, that feeling is enjoyable according to Debbie Mandel the author of Turn on Your Inner Light. Being able to laugh at the things that scare us together with family and friends makes fears more manageable.