I am talking about Halloween candy. While I greatly enjoy everything else about this holiday, meaning the costumes, the crisp feel in the air, and the pretty leaves in the landscape, it is so difficult to stay on track for the days leading up to Halloween and for weeks after. I started to see the candy piles grow since our dancing angel and serious ninja have already been to 3 Halloween parties in the past couple of weeks.
Photo may not be used without permission
Given our society has such a problem with obesity, why do we have so many holidays with rituals which center around unhealthy eating? It is so frustrating that I have done so well for the past couple of months, and then I see my husband bought a bag of my favorite candy (3 Musketeers). I know where the bag is and sometimes think about opening it. So far, I have been good about not succumbing to the chocolate, and I hope this continues.
And, how about our children? When they return from trick-or treating, they come home with pounds of candy. Given how much effort I put forth to give my children the healthiest foods possible, Halloween is so counter-productive. Not only is all this candy a setback for my children’s health, but I also have to resist tearing apart that candy myself!
So, what are we going to do about this? How are we going to survive Halloween without totally sabotaging our progress? While some years were more successful than others, here are some things I try to do to each year:
- Buy low-fat candy that takes a long time to eat. For example, Tootsie Roll Pops are 60 calories each, and they last a long time.
- Don’t buy candy at all. There are many non-candy ideas for trick or treaters on the internet. Some alternatives are tooth brushes / tooth paste / dental floss, school supplies, erasers, or silly band bracelets.
- Buy healthy snacks. Snack bags of crackers or boxes of pretzel sticks are good. I know many of the web sites suggested fresh fruits or cheese sticks, but I would not want to distribute any perishable food to children.
- Make healthy recipes at home to fix your sweet cravings. This may help prevent people like me from attacking the candy bowl. Skinny taste has many recipes for desserts and many of them look delicious.
- With children, I closely look at the candy when they get home. They know I throw out the sugared gum and sticky candy.
- Check out this article on ideas of creative ways for kids to use or recycle Halloween candy.
- Allow children to have candy in moderation. For example, my children sometimes choose 1 or 2 pieces of Halloween candy for dessert if they eat their vegetables.
I hope the temptation does not sabotage any progress I have made lately. I also hope to have all candy out of my house before the next couple months of holidays bring even more challenges.