10 Ways to a Healthier Halloween

Ok everybody… we are moving into the holidays and really need to start thinking hard about how we want to deal with them without gaining weight.  Let’s make this year different!   Are you in?

Here are 10 easy ways to make Halloween a healthier family tradition!  Have other ideas too?  Enter them as a comment!

1.  Consider giving out non-candy items for trick-or-treat.  People cringe at this suggestion because it’s Halloween after all!  A major problem in the US is that our traditions are laced with unhealthy dietary practices.  Whether it’s a birthday, a wedding, a holiday, or a vacation, we feel compelled to couple the event with very unhealthy eating.  When you hear about the importance of changing your lifestyle versus “going on a diet,” this is what that really means.  Changing your lifestyle means making over the aspects of your life that are unhealthy.  So when the neighbor poo-poo’s the fact that you are giving away Halloween pencil erasers instead of candy, just smile and rest assured that your choice is a healthy choice.  Plus, kids love pencil erasers!

2.  If you buy candy, don’t over buy. Instead, under buy to avoid leftovers.  In the worst case scenario you have to turn the light off a little early.  No leftovers in the bowl means no leftovers in the belly.

3.  Candy Quota.  Commit to keeping only a certain amount per person in the household and dispose of the rest by either throwing it or giving it away.  Having entire bags of candy hanging around the house is not healthy (regardless of whether you are overweight) and is a temptation that is likely to spoil your diet day after day until it is gone.

4.  Never be afraid to throw junk food in the garbage.  Note the word junk means garbage!   Yes, throwing food away feels like wasting.  Yes, children are starving in certain parts of the world.  But consuming more than your nutritional requirements does no more for starving children than throwing the food in the garbage; however throwing food away IS better than paving a road to type 2 diabetes, obesity, or cardiovascular disease.

5.  Stop Date.  Commit to a stop date in which all candy is disposed.  It is extremely important to put a stop date to holidays that involve a lot of eating. I recommend no more than 1 week for Halloween candy, less is even better.

6.  Portion control candy for the kids.  Put a daily limit on how many pieces of candy the child can have and when it can be consumed.  Use it in place of dessert or snack so that at the very least it is substituting for another food rather than adding additional calories.

7.  Buy candy you don’t really like.  I really hate Almond Joy so that would be my go to candy for Halloween.  There is NO chance I’ll be overeating those!  Blech!

8.  Don’t buy the candy until the day of.  I’ll admit, I’ve torn into Halloween candy days before the big day because I couldn’t resist.  No longer.  Don’t buy it until Oct 31 and I guarantee that won’t happen.

9.  Remember, You Are the Creator of Your Child’s Traditions. Wow, sounds like a big responsibility! Seize this opportunity to sculpt your child’s Halloween tradition. If you can create a healthier tradition by embracing the aspects of the holiday that do not involve sweets and overeating, such as making costumes, carving pumpkins, games and activities, your child will end up with healthier traditions throughout their whole lives, and pass it on to their children. If it’s a pig out every year, THAT is what they will do year after year, and end up passing on to their children.  YOU decide.

10.  Don’t stress about it.  Have fun.  Keep in mind that keeping healthy means many more healthy Halloweens to come!

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  1. lance1971 says:

    #7 buy candy corn. BLEH!

  2. Mbfgmike says:

    I will try all but #1 & #7 .. I have to hand out candy (don’t want the house egged) and I need to eat some candy tomorrow so need to buy some Heath!! Yay yummy Heath

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