Halloween officially starts the season of, well, too many sweets. Ever wonder why right after Halloween starts "cold & flu season"? It's because all of the sugar and sweets are burdening our immune system and health. Here are our top tips on how to keep yourself and your kids healthy this halloween (and yes, it still involves enjoying some candy).
1. Get a healthy dinner in
For you and your kids, there will be a lot of tempting candy and sugary sweets. If you are going out trick or treating all afternoon or evening, it might sound easier to just order in pizza or other takeout. Throw a healthy meal into the crock pot first thing in the morning so that you and the kids have something healthy to eat before and/or after going out. You'll load up on the good stuff so that you're less tempted by the sugary stuff.
2. Donate your leftover Candy
You know the drill: your kids get over the candy 2-3 days post halloween and then you're stuck eating it until it's all gone. Easy solution: donate your candy, or throw it away. It's not a waste, because it's not providing any nourishment for your body. Enjoy a few pieces of your favorite candy on Halloween, then get it out.
3. Let them have candy: but set limits
Healthy habits start from when you are young, better get them into good habits now! Emphasize that candy is a "special occasion treat", and that after lunch or dinner they may have 1 or 2 pieces of their favorite. Helping your kids understand the difference between "healthy food" and "fun food" will be an important skill for them to moderate their indulgences. It’s not the couple of pieces of candy that will make or break your child's health; but rather what they are eating all year long. Before you worry about candy, ask yourself whether your family is eating healthy the other 364 days in the year. If not, work on adding in healthy foods first before freaking out about scaling back on the sweet stuff. Severe food restrictions can have the unintended consequence of making them seem more desirable, so aim for balance over total restriction.
4. Offer a "buy back"
Give your kids the option to trade in some of their candy to you for a non-food reward, such as money, a trip to the arcade, a new video game, etc. Sounds like a pretty fair trade! Just make sure to donate the candy that you "buy back" elsewhere.