Here’s a spooky fact for you: kids would have to play for two days straight to burn off the average number of calories from candy they consume on Halloween (Business Insider, 2019). That pillowcase full of candy is looking way heavier now, isn’t it? But before you force your kids to exchange their Swedish Fish for spinach, let’s talk about strategies to enjoy Halloween without overdoing it.
#1: Make a good dinner.
Did you know that Halloween is one of the most popular nights of the year for pizza delivery? This is largely due to the convenience that a dropped-off, grab-n-go slice of pizza provides. However, instead of sending your kiddos out with a belly full of carbs, consider leaving a hearty batch of chili in the crockpot all day. You’ll save time, money, and your kids will be better fueled up for their night ahead. Another bonus: you’ll likely have some leftovers you can enjoy for lunch the next day.
#2: Make it a night, not a week.
It’s easy for holidays to bleed over into more days than just one. The discounted candy aisle, leftover cupcakes, and other goodies throughout the week are tempting. Before you snag that bag of Reese’s on super-sale, stop and consider how much of that candy will end up sitting out for weeks to come.
#3: Make the candy disappear.
From your countertop, that is. Studies have proven that “out of sight, out of mind” is true when it comes to food. You (and your kids) are far more likely to reach for a Starburst if they’re in a bowl on your kitchen table than if the bag is stowed away in your pantry. Try putting fruit or other nutritious snacks on display in place of the sweet stuff.
#4: Make it count.
Maybe Baby Ruths are nostalgic for you or maybe you just can’t resist a Reese’s pumpkin (because, who can?). Model for your kiddos how to choose your favorite candies and leave the rest alone. This shows that indulgences are fine from time to time, but eating sugar just because it’s available isn’t as satisfying. Encourage your kids to pick out the candy they truly enjoy and then get rid of the rest.
If you need more individualized assistance in navigating sugar cravings or food temptations, reach out to a Registered Dietitian or Health Educator. They’ll work with you to come up with a plan that works for you. Have a safe, happy, and not-so-spooky Halloween!