7 Ways to Defeat the Halloween Candy Monster
Halloween can bring out the magic and fun in people of all ages, but beneath the Halloween party spirit lurks a sinister struggle for many adults - candy. What do you do after trick-or-treating is over and the tempting, fun-size candy bars are all over your house and office?
This struggle can be a fast-track to weight gain if ignored. Candy is high in sugar, saturated fat and empty calories that don't provide the nutrition your body needs. It can also cause tooth decay, leading to expensive visits to the dentist.
To Avoid Overindulging on Halloween Candy:
- Stop buying Halloween candy that you love. You'll be more likely to cave into your desires if you buy those chocolate-covered pretzels that you can’t resist or that candy you decided on the social media game that you could comfortably get rid of. Instead, purchase candy that others like.
- Start the night with a healthy dinner. An empty stomach and late dinner preparations can be a gateway to overindulging on candy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats. Try making a healthy, filling crock pot meal that will be ready when you get home. Consider recipes like this Pasta E Fagioli soup from The Recipe Critic or this Low Carb Lasagna from Well Plated. Or have a fun twist by trying these healthy Halloween dinners kids can make.
- Plan fun activities that don’t focus solely on candy. If you have kids who are trick-or-treating, consider taking them to a location that offers additional activities the whole family can enjoy, like hay rides, ghost stories or sight-seeing. You’ll enjoy quality time with your family and be far away from the candy bowl. Check out these activities that the American Dental Association compiled together for Halloween fun!
- Limit indulging your sweet tooth to one candy per day. If you do enjoy one candy or sweet per day, consider some that are lower in fat (like sour or gummy candies or candy corn) or even sugarless options (like gum). Some fall-friendly drinks, like light hot chocolate or apple cider, have fewer calories than a traditional chocolate bar. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests rationing treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.
- Donate extra candy to good causes. Rather than subjecting your colleagues to similar temptations, consider donating your extra candy to causes that really need it. Organizations like Operation Gratitude and Operation Stars & Stripes send candy in care packages to U.S. Troops. Other organizations, like homeless shelters, food pantries or nursing homes, also may accept candy donations.
- Freeze Halloween candies to use later in holiday baking. The frozen candy also can be used during Christmas time to make gingerbread houses.
- Make your own Advent Calendar. Check out this idea at Alphamom.com
Weight management is not about being perfect. It's about moderation. Focus on celebrating Halloween for the fun it is. Choose activities with friends and family and you'll forget all about that scary candy monster.