Halloween time is here and that means trick-or-treaters will be arriving to your doorstep adorning their creative costumes and wanting a treat for their efforts. As a child I loved Halloween. We didn't just go out with little baskets to fill up with candy. We went out with pillow cases and went around to half the city. As an adult, and now dietitian, I view this time a little differently. Many healthcare providers advocate no candy at all as it really does get too much with parties and the treats in our homes. However, I think there is a way to strike a balance here with a little planning. So instead of giving you tips on avoiding candy and treats all together I want to give you tips on how to not go overboard. This seems like it may be a more practical approach as we don't want to take all the fun out of Halloween.
Try out some pumpkin dip with apple slices, spiced pumpkin seeds, baked cinnamon apples, or caramel apples. These types of treats are great for kids but don't add as much sugar and fat as candy and cupcakes. You don’t have to put out a vegetable tray…just be creative. Who doesn’t love a caramel apple during the Fall season?
Of course we will all be buying some candy for the trick or treaters that come around. Think back at last year of how many treaters came to your door. Try to gage it so you don't have multiple bags leftover in the house. You can also purchase candy you don't care for so it won't be as tempting.
Limit the amount of houses
If you are taking your own school aged children out, you can control a lot of the candy that comes in by limiting the number of houses you go to. Fewer houses, less candy. This is one way to get a little control over the amount of candy brought into your home.
Take advantage of the individually wrapped miniature candies. These little chocolate bars are around 50 calories a piece. Enjoy one or two of your favorites guilt free.
If your children bring home tons of candy as tweens and teens often do, freeze some of it. You can then let it thaw at a later time and enjoy your treats occasionally instead of all at once. This obviously works better with certain types of candy like chocolates bars.
If you are watching your weight or trying to manage a health issue like cholesterol or blood pressure try not to be too stressed about this time of year. Make the best choices and realize it is one time a year and by using some of the tips shared above, you can get through it without destroying all your progress.