Friday, October 31, 2014

5 Tips for a Happy and Healthy Halloween

Halloween. Traditionally the night of candy comas in kids. Spooks and scares. Tricks and treats. It also seems to be the unofficial kick off to the holiday eating season. Start with lots of candy. Move onto turkey and then into Christmas cookies. No wonder the holidays are almost impossible to navigate without adding to your waistline!

So here are some tips I try to stick by to keep my Halloween in check and in turn, start my holiday season off right.

1. Workout and Stick to Your Routine

Start your Halloween off like any other day. Get your sweat on. Stick to your meal plan. Treat Halloween like any other day and you will be less likely to indulge all day.

2. You Don't Have to Pass out Candy

There are so many fun options that don't involve candy. Halloween tattoos and stickers. Glow sticks. Other fun little toys can be picked up on the cheap that allow kids to enjoy Halloween without all the extra sugar. Plus this allows kids with food allergies to enjoy Halloween too....(because it's bad enough to be the kid who can't toss down Reese's cups with all your friends. Not being able to have any Halloween treats has to be even worse.)

Check out the Teal Pumpkin Project for more info on food allergies, Halloween and candy alternatives.

I love passing out Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn . There are typically boxes of fall flavored popcorn like cinnamon sugar, kettle corn and even candy corn flavored popcorn. So not totally healthy but way better than a snickers
(and GMO free!)

3. Wait until the last minute to buy your treats

If you are more traditional and think Halloween is for candy and candy alone.....this may be a better option for you. Especially if you also have an issue with the Halloween candy taunting you from wherever you hid it. Wait to purchase your treats the day of or the night before. You won't have time to go out and get more, so getting into those Kit Kats on your table isn't an option.

4. Eat before you Trick or Treat

If you are full and satisfied, you are less likely to dig into the halloween bag of candy you are coerced into carrying for your kiddos. It was always a rule in my house growing up that we were not allowed to start eating candy until we got home (Mom wanted to check it....which she never really did but it did save us from totally OD'ing on candy before we even got home.

If chocolate is totally hard for you to avoid whether your belly is full or not (because there is always room for chocolate....who am I kidding.) Try using a sweet treat replacement. I keep chocolate Shakeology on hand for emergencies such as this and there are so many awesome recipes that totally shut down my chocolate Mocha Mint, Peanut Butter Cup and more. (Click here for more get out of Halloween candy free shakeo recipes.)

5. Sort Your Kiddos Candy (with or without them) and be Picky About What you Keep

If we are being totally honest, there are always some candy duds in the post trick or treating haul. And instead of letting it sit around for months, after all the good stuff has been devoured, sort it into piles. We used to get a bag or a bowl and we could keep what fit. Everything else had to go. So we had some treats to pick from post Halloween (and my mom could use for bribery: Eat all your brussel sprouts and you can have a piece of candy. If your room is totally cleaned, dusted and vacuumed you can have some candy.)

My kiddo is still too young for that (although the eating your dinner all gone for a one piece choice does work well....) so I sort it without her. I keep a little bit and the rest is gone. I also only keep the choices that won't make me give into my inner sugar monster mid afternoon and gorge myself on Twix and Milky Way bars. Those go away. (She prefers things like lollipops anyway.)

So what do you do with all candy in the go away pile? If you feel guilty about throwing it away there are lots of options. The school where I taught always collected it for troops overseas. There are a few organizations that will collect Halloween candy including Operation Gratitude, Operation Stars and Stripes, and Operation Shoebox. Many dentists also participate in a candy buyback program and will donate the candy they receive to an organization like this. Other options include childrens hospitals, VA hospitals and veteran programs. There are always lots of organizations looking for donations. Do a quick google search and you will find lots of options in your area.

Have a happy and healthy Halloween!


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