This is going to be the first year that we will have trick-or-treaters at our house. In the spring we moved from an older part of town (that never had any trick-or-treaters come to the door) to a new part of town with many young families. I’ve done my part and stocked up on all the “fun” Halloween candy, and I am trying not to feel too guilty about the sugar filled treats that we will be handing out. Maybe next year I’ll have the courage to hand out Halloween colour play dough or stickers, but this year I didn’t feel like rocking the boat or risk getting my pumpkins kicked in.
This year also marks the first year my 2-year old will be going trick or treating. It’s fortunate that her bedtime is 7 p.m., and probably won’t fill up her treat bag in the one hour that she will be hitting the streets. However, I am sure other people are getting nervous about all the candy that will be brought home and kicking around in the next few weeks.
I am a firm believer in keeping the “danger” foods out of the house and keeping the home a positive health environment…but you can’t throw out all of your kid’s candy…that would just be mean. So what do you do with all of the Halloween candy that has been brought home?
Here is an article by Yoni Freedhoff. He gives tips on how to turn Halloween into a teachable moment with the family.
Also, here are some great tips I found on dealing with Halloween candy in the home and at the office. Article written by Christine Luff (sorry I can’t find a link to the original article).
- Chew gum. Sugarless gum can keep your mouth busy and gives your mouth a taste of sweetness without the high calories. If you already have something sweet in your mouth, you’ll be less likely to crave candy.
- Don’t buy your favorite candy. I feel slightly guilty giving the neighborhood kids Junior Mints, but the truth is, I don’t really like them, so I know I won’t be tempted to eat them.
- Have an office strategy. If you have the candy situation under control at home and the problem is co-workers with candy jars and bowls, ask your co-workers to charge you for a piece of candy. Offer them a dollar (that they can then donate to a charity) for each piece of candy. If you know you have to pay for it, you’re less likely to be tempted to reach into that bowl. You can also ask your co-workers to keep the candy inside their desks, so you won’t be tempted every time you walk past them
- Drink low-calorie hot chocolate. It’s just about the season for hot chocolate and it’s a great way to keep your hands and mouth busy and satisfy your sweet tooth without indulging in candy. If you don’t like hot chocolate, sip a cup of herbal tea instead.
- Step away from the candy bowl…. About six feet away, to be exact. Candy consumption dropped by two thirds when the goodies were kept 6 feet away from snackers, according to a study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What does this mean for you? Do not… I repeat, DO NOT volunteer to be the keeper of the office candy bowl!
- Change the way that you think about the little Halloween candy. Most of us will associate these candies with childhood and that carefree feeling, instead think of them as something that will raise your blood sugar and make you jumpy.
- Eat properly so you can stay away from Halloween candy. If you keep yourself on track for eating then avoiding the Halloween candy is easier because you will not be hungry.
- Savor one piece of your favorite candy a day. Decide what time of day you most relish the sweet stuff, and save your special treat for that time. Then sit back and slowly savor the taste sensation. “It is so easy to pop a piece of candy into your mouth mindlessly and not get the full enjoyment you would get if you saved it and ate it when you know you will enjoy it the most,” says Sandon. Indulge your sweet tooth on occasion, because denying yourself completely could lead to an all-out binge.
- Only buy the Halloween candy that you do not like. What may be tough for someone to resist may not be too hard for you to resist.
- Replace the candy with better choices. Make the see-food diet work in your favor by putting out a bowl of colorful fruit or veggies in place of the candy.
- Move the candy jar. Wansink and colleagues have done studies on how frequently people eat candy when it is within reach, out of sight, or requires them to get up to reach the jar. “If you have to get up to get a piece of candy, it is not always worth the effort, whereas when the candy is convenient, consumption is higher,” says Wansink.
- Count the empty wrappers. It’s so easy to pop fun-size candy bars into your mouth that you can lose track of how quickly the calories are adding up. “If you keep the wrappers on your desk, it will remind you of how many you ate and hopefully inspire you to exercise moderation and stop after one or two,” says Sandon.
- Take a walking break. Getting away from your desk for a breath of fresh air can invigorate you and help you get over the mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps that are often mistaken for hunger.
- Manage your hunger. Eat breakfast before coming to work and plan for a few healthy snacks along with a satisfying lunch. Your preplanned meals with keep you feeling satisfied and make you less likely to raid the candy bowl.
- Sip on a low-calorie beverage. Keep your hands and mouth busy by drinking a zero-calorie cup of hot tea (rich with disease-fighting antioxidants) or big glass of water. And light hot chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth for few calories than most fun-size chocolate bars.
- Decide what you are willing to eat ahead of time. Look at the list above, there are some good decisions that you can make that will stop you from making this a weight gain holiday by eating the right Halloween candy. I am a big fan of Tootsie Rolls and those are apparently OK to eat.
- Just stay away. There is some willpower involved in not eating the things that we are not supposed to eat. Have some willpower and you can stay away from treats, it is only a one week holiday anyway, right?
Finally, here are some extra tips for dealing with leftover candy.
I hope these tips help manage the stress of lingering candy kicking around over the next few weeks.