Halloween marks the beginning of the sweetest time of year. Between Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, festive holiday parties and meals and Valentine’s Day, the fall and winter are jam packed with indulgences. Start your family’s sweet season off on a good note by eating healthy during Halloween. How is that supposed to happen with all of the treats and temptations around? We’re here to help!
Follow these tips for eating healthy during Halloween:
Tip #1: Set some ground rules in advance.
Make rules for your family (that means for the parents too) and explain them prior to Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. Some parents allow their kids to indulge on lots of treats the night of Halloween and then limit candy and sweets to one item each day afterwards. Help your family savor the one treat by really enjoying it, not mindlessly eating it without embracing the moment. Whatever your rules are, be a stickler for enforcing them on your kids, your spouse and yourself.
Tip #2: Keep candy out of reach and out of sight.
Many kids, especially younger kids, forget about Halloween candy a few days after the holiday. If you keep the candy jar out of their view, the “out of sight, out of mind” theory may work to your advantage. And of course, if they don’t ask for candy, don’t offer it.
While sweets aren’t great for your family’s health, you can encourage some healthier habits by enforcing a tit-for-tat rule. For every sweet eaten in your house, your family members must also eat a serving of a vegetable. At least you will ensure everyone is getting their essential nutrients even if they consume a little extra sugar.
Tip #4: Eat a healthy meal before entering a tempting situation.
Going to an indulgent event on an empty stomach makes resisting temptations much harder. Knowing your family may consume extra calories doesn’t substitute a healthy meal. In fact, your family will probably eat less sweets if they feel satisfied before they see their treat options. Healthy eating often naturally curbs over-indulging.
Tip #5: Call in the “switch witch.”
Some parents engage in a game of “switch witch,” which is when an imaginary witch visits your house after Halloween and takes away most of the candy in exchange for a prize. You can let your kids pick out their own small prize or surprise them with an item you know they want. Some schools offer this program in exchange for a book, pencil or other school supply. Your switch witch can also send your candy to the troops.
Tip #6: Buy candy you don’t love.
When your family’s favorite sweets are in the house, chances are they are going to want to eat them. But if you buy candy that isn’t that exciting, your family probably won’t care about eating it. Yes, you may not be the most popular house on the block but at least you will be healthier.
Tip #7: Buy back candy from your kids.
Pay your kids for their candy and then get rid of it once and for all. While some parents may view this as a bribe, you are acknowledging that the candy belongs to your children and they should be compensated for it. But better for them to have a little spending money than a mouth full of cavities.
Tip #8: Store candy in the refrigerator.
Cold candy does not taste as good and may become hard. If your kids don’t like the texture of the candy, they probably won’t want to eat it anymore. Win, win!
Tip #9: Take an active break.
If your kids are relentless about asking for more candy, make them go outside for a walk, game of tag or a bike ride before you give in. Hopefully the distraction makes them forget about the candy. But even if not, you will all have burned off some calories before indulging.
Tip #10: Don’t buy candy too early.
Buy your candy at the last minute before Halloween. Otherwise, the candy may beckon you and your family to eat it before the holiday. And don’t over-buy either. The goal is to have as little as possible left at the end of the night.
Happy and Healthy Halloween!