As Halloween approaches around the corner, the decorations, costumes, and candy all hit the shelves. We all know we should decrease our sugar intake, but how can we enjoy this holiday without giving up all the fun? Also, who doesn’t love a delicious sweet treat once in a while? It can be a challenge to limit your sweets because Halloween is built around the idea of treats and collecting as much candy as possible. To have a healthier Halloween, here is some advice to keep you balanced and happy on this holiday!
As a trick-or-treater, have a healthy meal before you go out trick-or-treating. This will reduce temptations to overindulge because you will be more full. Make this Halloween a fun one by getting in exercise. Have a number in mind of how many streets or houses you plan to stop by. You can even make it a game with your friends or family! Take a long walk around the neighborhoods and talk about all the decorations and costumes everyone has on instead of focusing on only candy.
As a parent, discuss with your child how much candy they will be able to eat. Instead of setting strict limits, have an open discussion on portions, the importance of balance, and their perspective on how much candy they think they should eat. Encourage your child to take only one piece of candy from each house so they will be able to visit more houses around the neighborhood. If there is too much candy in the house, hand them off at work, next-door neighbors, or to a homeless shelter. If your child asks for a piece of candy, pair it with a healthy snack such as an apple, whole grain crackers, or some carrots. Put the candy stash out of reach and limit to only 2 pieces per day. You can also save the candy to make a piñata for the next birthday or holiday celebration.
As someone staying at home, consider on giving out healthier treats. Some great ideas are small packs of trail mix, pretzels, animal crackers, raisins, fruit leathers, juice boxes, or sugar-free candy and gum. If you decide to go the candy route, hand out treats to each trick-to-treater instead of letting them grab it from the bucket. Choose to buy fun-sized candy bars or healthier dark chocolate versions. You can also give out pencils, erasers, glow-sticks, and stickers. Children tend to get more excited by the amount they collect in their bucket rather than what they get.