How Not to Overdo It on Halloween Candy

candy corn


Candy corn

Photo by: Juanmonino


Halloween is creeping up, and the scare of a sugar overdose is a concern for parents and children alike. Here are a few tricks for keeping the treat in your Halloween without overdoing it.

• Fuel up: Make sure the whole family (that means you, too, adults) has a healthy meal prior to trick-or-treating. Include lots of veggies, whole grains and lean protein for lasting fullness. The more satisfied you are, the less likely you will be to overindulge on the sweet stuff.

• Mindfully munch: The excitement of the night can lead to mindless eating for both kids and adults. Set limits for yourself and your children as to what an appropriate amount of candy consumption will be. A little indulgence is understandable the night of Halloween but you can still set boundaries to prevent an off-the-wall kid with a sick belly come bedtime.

• Start Small: Head out with a smaller sized Halloween bag/pumpkin (avoid the urge to use a pillow case) and when it is full, it's full. Simple as that.

• Take one: Many houses offer the generous option of taking several pieces of candy or a handful. Allow your kids to choose one piece per stop to prevent excess.

• Pick favorites: Nothing beats the moment when you get home, dump your loot and eye it up with pride. This is a great time to have your kids make a "favorites pile" (adults can join in the fun). You can even attach a number of pieces to the piles (e.g., "we all get to pick our favorite 20 pieces").

• Snack Packs: Take the "favorites pile" and separate it into snack-size bags (think 1 to 2 pieces per) for daily consumption. Set limits on how many snack bags your kids can consume each day. Be a role model and stick with the rules you give your children.

• Healthy pairings: Encourage your kids to pair their "snack pack" with a healthy option like a glass of milk, peanut butter on crackers, a piece of fruit or some raw veggies with hummus. Encourage them to eat the healthy snack first, which will help fill them up and prevent them from overindulging in the sweet treat.

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

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