Tips for “Trick or Treat” Survival

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

  • Stickers
  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t let kids hide their candy underneath their beds. They’ll be snacking late into the night without brushing their teeth.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Check your local dentist…they often have “buy back” candy giving kids the motivation to part with their candy.

Tricks for the adults

  1. If you have the tendency to eat most of your Halloween candy before October 31, then refrain from buying until the day before.
  2. Buy candy you don’t like (if there is such a thing!).
  3. Commit to buying only chocolate candy containing nuts, (and by-pass all the artificially colored candies) so the kids get at least SOME nutrition!
  4. Decide ahead of time, if you are going to eat NONE, or how many pieces. Two is a livable number.
  5. 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.
  6. Increase your exercise during this period.
  7. 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.