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Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Halloween

Published in For the Health of It

Who’s more likely to eat too much candy this Halloween – Spiderman (aka 8-year-old Benjamin) or Spiderman’s mom (aka 36-year-old Brenda)? The answer is: Both! It doesn’t matter how old you are, that overflowing bag full of tasty treats is hard to pass up. Fortunately, there are many tricks available to help you avoid the treat trap, not to mention excess calories.

If your child will be ringing doorbells throughout your neighborhood in traditional Halloween style, make sure that you feed him or her a healthy snack before heading out. Having a full stomach helps prevent snacking between stops and the stomachaches that can follow.

Trick-or-Treat Strategies

Prior to the holiday, let your trick-or-treaters know how much candy they will be allowed to keep and how many pieces they can eat each day, so they know their limits. When they return home with the loot, inspect all the goodies to make sure they haven’t been tampered with and toss anything that isn’t safely sealed. If there is more candy left over than the previously agreed-upon limit, throw it out or give it away.

Coordinate a Neighborhood Party

An alternative to the door-to-door route might be a neighborhood party. Talk with other families on your block and coordinate a Halloween potluck. A nearby park, school or community center can offer an inexpensive venue, plus the kids are safe and in a controlled environment.

Each family can use the money normally spent on candy to contribute healthy snacks, holiday crafts, games and prizes. Get kids involved in the planning, that way they will really be excited when you “get the party started.” Provide a small bag of treats at the end of the night to keep with tradition without going overboard.

Adults, Step Away from the Candy Dish

How many “fun size” Butterfinger® bars does it take to equal a full-size Butterfinger bar? If your co-worker was kind enough to bring in Halloween extras, beware. By indulging in three of these fun size treats, you will consume about 300 calories (a full-size Butterfinger weighs in at 270 calories).

During candy-oriented holidays like Halloween, it’s important to monitor the extra treats you are eating. Start a food diary and count calories during these tempting times to help keep snacking in check. Better yet, drink plenty of water and make sure you have healthy meals and treats on hand so you have something close by when you’re hungry.

Follow these tips, and your Halloween will be happy and healthy!

Healthier Halloween Goodies

Halloween doesn’t have to be all about calorie-laden treats. Kids may love getting a neat toy instead, and there are many healthy snacks that taste great, too.

Healthy Snacks:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Juice boxes
  • Fruit cups
  • Raisins/dried fruit
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cheese and cracker packages

Candy Alternatives:

  • Stickers
  • Bubbles
  • Kazoos
  • Hair bows
  • Yo-yos
  • Jewelry
  • Coins
  • Trading cards
  • Rubber balls