This year, consumers are expected to spend 2.7 billion… that’s BILLION with a ‘B’ on Halloween candy. That means your trick-or-treater will be dragging home 3500-7000 calories worth of treats.
But with 1 in 3 of American kids are overweight today, they really don’t need all that sugar. Nor do you need to have that kind of temptation lurking around, just waiting for the opportunity to glom onto your waistline.
A little damage control (while still enjoying the holiday) is definitely in order. Here’s how to get your kids (and you) to eat less Halloween candy.
1. Drown in…
Water and other zero-calorie beverages. Start your the morning with a 1-2 glasses of water before breakfast if you can, get another 1-2 in at lunch… and keep going. The more hydrated you are, the less room you’ll have for Halloween candy.
2. Feed on ghastly things
Make sure everyone has time in their busy day to eat *gasp* healthy meals. Grumbly tummies always know the shortest path to sweets, so head them off at the pass!
If you are planning to have some sweets, minimize the damage by eating protein and vegetables for your meals. Avoid a lot of fat, because eating sugar and fat in combination will lead to weight gain. The combination of protein and fiber in your meals will also help you feel less hungry.
Here’s the trick for healthier Halloween eats: you need to make the healthy stuff more spooky than the treats! Like this…
3. Gather treats in adorable (but small) bags
Keep the container super cute so kids want to carry them– but on the small side to provide a natural limit to treats they bring back.
4. Make time for wiggles and giggles
The best costumes are the ones kids can run around in. Suit them up and get them outside to enjoy some physical activity– preferably with you. This will distract them from the Halloween candy bowl, prevent eating out of boredom, and help them get to sleep earlier.
5. Fill their bags with real goodies
If everyone else is handing out sweets, why should you? Visit a dollar store to find fun alternatives like lip balm, fake tattoos, glow necklaces, and fidget spinners. That way, you won’t have tons of left over sweets in your pantry.
6. Now you see it, now you don’t!
Once the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, the spirits come out to feed on all the left over candy. The more candy they get, the more likely they’ll leave a gift or money in exchange.
7. OK, your kids are on to you…
Do yourself a favor and clear the tables and counters of all treats. Have your kids store their treats in the pantry behind a closed door. Even a container with a lid on it can help prevent mindless snacking. Out of sight, your kids may not notice small handfuls of candy missing to RIP in the trash over the course of the week. (Mom, dad… no sneaking a treat here!)
8. Let the Halloween candy die an untimely death
If your kids can’t exactly read, you might want to check the label– and let them know that their candy has expired.
9. Divide and conquer
Have your kids divide their booty into their favorites and not-favorites. Not-favorites can be sent to the grave (trash) immediately. This will reduce snacking on the not-favorites later in the weeks after the favorites have been consumed.
10. Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Negotiate a trade for all or much of the candy in exchange for a toy, outing, or game that’s high on their wish-list.
11. Ship it to deployed troops
The troops enjoy getting a few treats themselves, but there’s another interesting use of Halloween loot. They can also “… use the candy to hand out to kids, and the kids give them intelligence in return, like where the bad guys are, who the bad guys are and where bombs are hidden,” says Carolyn Blashek, the founder of Operation Gratitude. At the same time, you can pack some practical goodies from the soldier’s wishlist in the box too. Here’s how you do it.
12. Learn some scary facts!
Here’s a scary story for you: “Sugar Kills!” To achieve death by sugar on Halloween, you’ll have to be eat a lot– chances are you’ll start feeling sick after just a few pieces. A 180-lb adult would have to consume about 262 fun-sized bars, or 1,627 pieces of candy corn to do it. A 60-pound child would need to eat about 87 fun-size treats or 540 pieces of candy corn. Don’t try this at home, folks!
Here’s a fun video for you and the kids…
P.S. Want to lose weight before Thanksgiving?
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About the Writer: 100 pounds ago, Jan knew what it is like to be obese, unhappy, and stuck. She has spent the last 15 years as a fitness writer, trainer, yoga teacher, and Weight Loss Coach. Today, she’s proud to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team so she can continue her goal to help others live their fullest lives possible. Email Jan@PersonalTrainerFood.com if you have any questions!