Halloween Survival - Beat the Treats!

We all know the drill...buy the candy, hand the candy out, munch on the candy while your handing it out, have left over candy and then the kid(s) come home with enough candy to put you into a hyperglycemic coma for a year.  Before you start riffling through their stash to get your fill read my Halloween survival guide to beating the treats!

Out of Sight - This is possibly the best most effective way to control not only your impulse to stick your hand in the candy bowl but, your child's urges as well.  Make sure the candy is immediately put into a bowl or container and placed out of everyone's sight.  Do NOT put it somewhere you frequent multiple times a day such as a pantry.  Choose a storage room, garage or spare bedroom.  Everytime you see that bowl (or your kids do) it's natural to want to reach for a quick bite even if you're not hungry.

Have it...Mindfully - Even a Nutritionist can't expect you to not have one or two, it wouldn't be Halloween without the candy but, you should avoid eating these treats mindlessly.  You could end up eating more than you thought.  First choose one or two bite size or mini size items that you're excited about.  If it's not worth being happy about, it's not worth eating.  Next sit down with your chosen items and smell them.  Often a craving will be satisfied just by the smell and you may not need that second bite or treat.  Lastly, enjoy the treat...feeling guilty about eating it only perpetuates a negative cycle around food.  You "chose" to have it, so choose to enjoy it and you will be satisfied enough not to reach back in the bowl for more.  Limit yourself to 1 or 2 small treats a day.

The Count (not Dracula) - So you've decided to binge on the bite sized treats, that's okay but, I want you to count the wrappers before you hide the evidence.  Once the wrappers have been counted multiply the number by 150, that's how many calories you ate.  Now multiply the number by 19, that's the average grams of sugar you just ingested and finally multiply the number by 5, that's the average grams of fat you just consumed.  It adds up quickly, popping just 5 of those "fun sized" treats a day can add on a pound in less than a week possibly contributing to your rear end being not so "fun sized".  This exercise is more for awareness, not for guilt.  So if you've binged count it up and get a realistic picture of what happened but, certainly dust yourself off and carry on, guilt will get you no where except with your hand back in that candy bowl.

Keep Stable and Busy - Ensure that you are eating balanced meals containing a good fat, protein and complex carbohydrate at regular intervals throughout the day and you will be ahead of the game managing your blood sugar, therefore managing your cravings.  If you feel tempted to have a treat or have more than a reasonable amount try to keep yourself busy or try munching on carrots, celery or other crunchy veggies or fruit, drinking herbal teas or water can help reduce the need to dig in.

End it, Before it Ends You - Before those Halloween treats even enter the home agree on a set amount of time with your family that you will keep it in the house, a week or two is long enough.  Then find something to do with it.  Many shelters will be happy to take it, you could bake up some goodies for a charity bake sale like a chocolate bark with a variety of candy in it, share it with friends or family that may not have participated in halloween trick or treating or simply toss it out.  Whatever you do, stick to your deadline.

Start a New Tradition - I have been known for trying to find healthier alternatives to hand out such as dark chocolate treats or suckers made from 100% organic juice because I feel like with the rising obesity epidemic eventually it will click that our traditions can still be fun but, in a more sensible way.  There are also plenty of non-treat options out there that kids love!  I have noticed in recent years that my son's treat bag is showing signs of a different mind set and he often has an abundance of juice, natural fruit suckers, pencils and other fun treats!

Happy Halloween!

- Sarah

Posted in: Food, Health, Nutrition, Seasonal

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