While you can't necessarily control the type or amount of candy your kids accumulate during the night, you do have some control over the candy you buy for your home to pass out to trick-or-treaters and how much of that candy your kids (and you) eat after the fact. Here are some quick tips to help you and your family have a healthier Halloween:
Control what you buy
- Purchase healthier food options to pass out: peanuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, trail mix, fruit leathers, light popcorn, pretzels, whole wheat crackers, low fat pudding cups, 100% fruit juice boxes, gum, or turn a clementine into a jack-o-lantern with a permanent marker.
- Pass out non-food items like temporary tattoos, stickers, 'fangs,' pencils or erasers. Kids often enjoy these items just as much or more.
- Some of your best candy choices: PayDay is the winner because it is low in saturated fat and 3 grams of protein per bar, Reece's Peanut butter cups also are relatively low in saturated fat with some protein too. Twizzlers are a decent option as are KitKats. Tootsie pops, blow pops, and Gobstoppers are mostly sugar, but take longer to eat so can limit amounts consumed.
- Some of your worst options are Mounds, Whoppers, Reese's Pieces are high in calories and fat - of which is mostly saturated fat. M&Ms (even peanut) are high in saturated fat as well and tend to be consumed in higher amounts. Skittles and Starbursts are also high in saturated fat.
Ideas for managing candy after Halloween:
- Halloween night, have children sort candy into two piles - candy they like and candy they don't like. Let them keep the candy they like and give the candy they don't like away by donating it to a food bank or to a program who sends candy to US troops overseas.
- Allot a certain amount of candy for children to consume daily - allow them to choose what candy they want, when they want it as long as they are under the limit.
- Freeze leftover candy and pull out only what is needed.
- Keep candy out of sight in a drawer or cupboard (out of sight, out of mind).
- Toss leftover candy or donate it once your children lose interest.
- Finally, resist the urge to buy candy on sale the day after Halloween.