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Healthy Halloween

With Halloween around the corner, and the supermarkets stuffed full of candy, you know it’s coming: the tidal wave of sugary treats that your children will bring in to your house by the sack-full. Or perhaps you don’t have children, but plan on buying a few bags of candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Whatever the case, here are some tips on moderating both you and your child’s candy consumption.

Buy what you don’t like. If you love chocolate, don’t buy little chocolate bars to hand out, buy something fruit-flavored. If you buy your favorite candy to hand out, you could wind up with a few extra pounds of it left on November 1st, just in time to start your holiday season off wrong. Don’t worry about disappointing the trick-or-treaters, kids love candy, period.

At the end of the night, leave your candy bowl out on the porch, and odds are some late stragglers might finish off your surplus. If you have some left the next day, bring the bowl in to work to share.

Don’t binge on Halloween night. This is a big one for kids (and maybe you). When your child gets home, have him or her choose a few pieces they really want to eat that night, and then set the rest aside. Expect that when they’re finished they’ll want ‘just one more piece’ so factor that extra piece into the overall amount you want them to eat.

Sort through the candy and discard anything they don’t like. If your child doesn’t like nuts, go through and get rid of all the candy with nuts. Throwing food away is terrible, but luckily candy isn’t food. Toss any candy your child doesn’t want to get rid of it before they (or you) decide to eat it when the good stuff is gone.

Put the candy up and set expectations accordingly. Depending on their haul, your child could have a month’s worth of candy in their pillow case. Explain to your child (and again, yourself), that candy lasts a very, very, long time. You can treat it like any other sugary treat and eat it in moderation. You can even make a game out of seeing how long you can make the stash last.

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