It’s what I call, “The Sugar Holiday” or Halloween. All about the candy, break out the candy corn! :) Believe me, no one loves sweets more than me (especially disgustingly sweet candy corn), but the truth is that sugar is waistline enemy #1 and at a time when people are giving out FREE candy in droves, it’s time for us to “get our mind right.” Here are my top tips for how to navigate the candy waters:
If you are bringing your kids out to trick-or-treat:
1] Have the whole family eat a healthy dinner beforehand, so as to minimize snacking–your snacking and their snacking. Also, getting a good workout in beforehand will help off-set any snacking that does occur. Moderation is key here–1-2 treats for you and 5-6 treats for them on the night of Halloween. If you have small kids, remember, YOU are in charge of the candy, not them!
2] If you have little kids, the shorter the treating, the better. For small children, it is just about the experience so 30-45 minutes or a handful of houses is all it takes to obtain the experience, so resist treating for an hour and a half or two hours. The shorter, the less candy! Besides, isn’t it all about the costume prep and pictures anyway??
3] Find an appropriate-sized container for your small children. No pillowcases or trash bags please–do we really need to be filling whole trash bags with candy?? A traditional pumpkin basket will be perfect :)
If you are giving out candy at your home:
4] No full-sized candy bars–yes, I know it would make you the “coolest house” on the block, but it is doing everyone a disservice. Yep, I am the candy police and I have to tell you, Snickers Minis are just as fun as whole Snickers bars–in fact, MORE fun because you don’t feel like shit after eating them :) So buy the minis!
5] Choose candy with nuts and/or coconut. Nut-containing treats have a little protein and a higher fat content, so kids won’t need as many of them to satisfy, whether they realize it or not. Furthermore, medium-chained saturated fats from coconut may actually even help burn fat since it is not metabolized like long-chain saturated fats (like lard). Now, I think that’s somewhat of a stretch considering the coconut will be coated in chocolate, but having a fattier candy can increase satiety, more than the just straight-up-sugar options like Sour Patch Kids or Runts.
6] Consider giving out healthier options–no, I am not saying apples or raisins (who wants to be that house?), but what about non-food items that are just as fun, like stickers, crayons or Silly Bandz? Could be a good compromise? Although I have not ruled out giving out toothpaste at my house :)
What do you do come November 1st?
Older kids will be possessive of their own candy, so although it is not the greatest for them, at least the chances of you getting your paws on it are slim.
But for small kids, you, as the parent should be in charge of the candy. Place the basket of candy out of sight, and many small children will actually even forget it’s there after a day, and then you can just bring it into work or give it away. However, this is where moderation is key–have your child pick out a handful of pieces to have that night and then do the one-treat-a-day thing until it is all gone. It is preferable to pair it with a healthy snack like an apple or have it after a healthy dinner.
For moms and dads, there is no issue with sampling the goods, just make sure to use moderation–1 piece per day, just like your kids :)
BUT, if you are like me, this final option might be your preferred strategy, and that is to wait until your cheat meal and just kill a huge bag of candy corn (or your candy of choice), eat so much you feel ill, and then you probably won’t want it again until next year anyway! :) Happy Halloween!!