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Tips & Tricks for Halloween

The approach of Halloween can send a shiver up some parents’ spines when thinking about all the sugar their kids may be taking in after Trick-or-Treating – not to mention all the treats lying around as temptation! Resist the constant sugar highs and lows this year with these tips.

Get Into the Spirit

Incorporate activities around the holiday that don’t involve candy, such as creating a costume, carving a pumpkin, toasting and eating pumpkin seeds, visiting a haunted house, taking a hay ride, and bobbing for apples.

Trick-or-Treating

Of course, it would be difficult to withhold Trick-or-Treating all together. The good thing about it is that getting out for some walking will help to offset small indulgences. So how do you handle the booty once it’s brought back to the house?

  • Don’t go out on an empty stomach. Fill the kiddies up on nutritious foods so they aren’t ravenous for sweets.
  • Allow your child to pick out a couple of treats they would like to enjoy when they return, and then put the rest away. Distribute a piece or two for dessert throughout the week. Children learn that eating sweets shouldn’t be an all-day feast. Moderation is key. Also, knowing they have a specific sweet time can help make children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day.
  • Have your children pick out a handful of candy that they really want, and trade the rest for a special prize, like a trip to the zoo, a movie, etc.
  • Offer to buy the candy from your children. Offer to pay per piece (you may want to make sure you know how much candy they actually have before setting the price!) or a sum amount for their whole bag. This way, they may pick out a few things they really want, but they will get rid of the other candy that lies around and tempts snacking. Hint: Don’t keep the candy for yourself!
    • Participate in Halloween Candy Buyback, where you can drop off the candy at a local participating dentist office. They will send it in care packages to troops overseas. You and your little ones can trade it in for money and prizes! Visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/ to find a location near you.
    • Donate the candy to a local food bank.
  • If you aren’t heading out to Trick-or-Treat with your little one, set a good example by handing out something other than candy to the little ghouls who come to your door. Stickers, stick on tattoos, fun erasers, small toys – maybe a mix of all so they can take their pick!

Make sure to let your kids know what your plan is before they head out on the town. That way there are no surprises when they return.

For Older Goblins

Buy candy you don’t like, late. If you’re going to hand out candy at Halloween, buy it as close to Halloween as possible. It doesn’t do anyone any good to purchase candy a month before the day. Chances are it won’t be lasting until then! Also, buy candy you don’t like, so you aren’t tempted to snack.

When indulging, slow down, and eat only your favorite part. You don’t have to completely deprive yourself to get through the holiday. When you do decide to give in to temptation, savor the treat. Choose to eat only your favorite part (top of the cupcake, etc.).

Enjoy parties for the atmosphere, not the food. Have healthy food before you get there. Allow yourself a small plate and one trip through the spread of food. Position yourself away from the food for the rest of the party.

Make your own treats. Chances are you won’t be adding in as much sugar and other chemicals as those pre-made treats and candies at the store. If you take it to a party, divvy up leftovers to those at the party – don’t bring them home!

At work, set the communal candy bowl out of sight, or offer to fill it with healthier snacks. Re-route your walking pattern so you aren’t tempted to grab something.

Pack sugar-free gum. If feeling the cravings, pop in a stick of sugar-free gum to take the edge off.

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