When Halloween arrives in your neighborhood, here are a few tips to help adults and kids alike enjoy the fun while surviving the onslaught of sweet temptations delivered by the bagful.
Boo-tiful candy alternatives for treating the kids while pleasing the parents
- Hand stamps and removable tattoos
- Dimes or nickels (You can actually “save” money this way!)
- Barrettes and ponytail holders for the fairy princesses
- Cool pencils, erasers and crayons for the ghouls and goblins
- Fun plastic rings and jewelry with glitter, gems and even shaped like spiders
- Sugar-free gum
- Granola bars (great for lunch boxes)
- Raisins (small boxes)Lunch size bags of popcorn and baked chips like Baked Lays and Sunchips
- Small bag of peanuts
- Small bottles of water and/or juice boxes (they do get thirsty running around! Maybe offer one of each.)
Treats for the kids
- Try not to dole candy out piece by piece throughout the day. Repeated exposure to sugar is more likely to cause cavities. Rather, shoot for once a day and have them brush their teeth afterwards.
- Don’t let kids hide their candy underneath their beds. They’ll be snacking late into the night without brushing their teeth.
- Gently remind kids that candy is not a “grow food.” This is why you are asking them to limit themselves to 2 or 3 pieces a day, in order to leave room for plenty of “grow” food.
- Have them count out 30 (or so) pieces they want to keep and give the rest to families less fortunate, or mail to soldiers overseas.
- Check your local dentist…they often have “buy back” candy giving kids the motivation to part with their candy.
Tricks for the adults
- If you have the tendency to eat most of your Halloween candy before October 31, then refrain from buying until the day before.
- Buy candy you don’t like (if there is such a thing!).
- Commit to buying only chocolate candy containing nuts, (and by-pass all the artificially colored candies) so the kids get at least SOME nutrition!
- Decide ahead of time, if you are going to eat NONE, or how many pieces. Two is a livable number.
- Or stick to being a “dark chocolate snob” meaning you simply DON’T eat any candy that isn’t at least 50% dark, with no dutch processing (or alkalized cocoa) assuring the beneficial antioxidants are intact. Enjoy with a few nuts and fruit for a completely satisfying treat.
- Increase your exercise during this period.
- Use positive self-talk. If you’ve nibbled a bit more than you wanted to, say, “No big deal.” Make a decision to end the “haunting” and give the candy away.