Making Halloween Special, Spooky – and Safe!

Making Halloween Special, Spooky – and Safe!

By Shanthi Appelö, MS, RD Health and Wellness Spokesperson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Keep It COVID-19 Safe!

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a ranking of higher, moderate, and lower risk Halloween activities.

Higher Risk Activities

  • Traditional trick-or-treating
  • Trunk-or-treating
  • Indoor costume parties
  • Indoor haunted houses
  • Hayrides

Moderate Risk Activities:

  • Grab-and-go trick-or-treating: Place individually wrapped goodie bags at the end of the driveway or edge of a yard to allow for social distancing. Provide hand sanitizer.
  • Outdoor costume party: Dress up and stay six feet apart at a small outdoor party or wear a protective mask if at a larger outdoor party.
  • Outdoor Halloween movie night: Arrange a small, socially distant outdoor gathering.
  • Outdoor haunted forests and cornfields: Outdoor haunted activities are safely possible when traffic flow is one-way, face coverings are worn and social distancing is enforced.
  • Pumpkin patches: Stay safely distanced from other groups and use hand sanitizer.

Lower Risk Activities:

  • Decorate pumpkins or living spaces inside or outside the home
  • Host a virtual costume or carving contest
  • Hunt for candy
  • Plan a Halloween movie night
  • Set up a scavenger hunt

Masks and Costumes

  • Wearing a face covering is encouraged in social situations due to COVID-19.
  • A Halloween costume mask is not an adequate substitute for a cloth mask unless it has two or more layers of breathable fabric that cover the mouth and nose without big gaps.
  • A cloth face mask on top of a costume mask is not advised, as it could make it dangerously hard for the wearer to breathe.
  • The best solution is to wear a cloth face mask as usual or make a Halloween-themed cloth face mask.

Healthy Treats

The average child collects 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of candy on Halloween night – the latter being the caloric equivalent of 13 Big Macs. Consider offering healthier treat alternatives:

  • Animal crackers
  • Baked chips
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit snacks, ideally made from 100 percent fruit juice
  • Mini toothbrushes and mini toothpastes
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Small toys such as bouncy balls
  • Trinkets such as fun erasers, bookmarks and stickers
  • Trail mix


About the Author

Shanthi Appelö, MS, RD
Health and Wellness Spokesperson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. A native of Enköping, Sweden, she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where she later earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with a minor in Business Administration and holds a Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Tennessee. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family.

*Bio photo courtesy of Shanthi Appelö


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