Halloween is tough for those really trying to keep healthy. According to Huffpost Taste, Did you know that the average American eats 24 pounds of candy a year? NielsonWire states 600 million pounds of candy are sold during Halloween. And 2 billion dollars in sales of candy happen just days before Halloween according to Dailyinfographic.com. That’s a lot of candy. Here are a few tools to use to navigate through all the hussle and to do going on this time of the year.
- Include your children in the shopping of healthy foods. Help them discover healthier alternatives. Teach your older children to read labels and ingredient lists. Make it fun. Discover new treats and healthier cereals or snacks. I did this with my kids. I helped them read the back of cereal boxes and told them what we were looking for and what we were avoiding and why. I taught them to avoid foods with hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and long words you couldn’t pronounce! Making them an active part of their nutritional choices now will lead them to making healthier lifestyle choices later in life. They would actually find better alternatives to the sugary things they would normally ask for. And healthy or not, remember treats are fun, not staples in your diet.
- Don’t focus on the treats! There is so much more to Halloween than the sweet treats and abundance of junk foods. Forgo the treats and make Halloween about fun instead. For instance, you can host a pumpkin carving contest or have a spooky movie night (and serve good for you foods like http://www.raininghotcoupons.com/jack-o-lantern-orange-fruit-cups/ , http://www.forkandbeans.com/2011/10/28/guacamole-halloween-bats/ , or http://www.twohealthykitchens.com/2014/10/14/frankenstein-kiwis-another-healthy-halloween-treat/. Try Putt Putt golfing or a corn maze. Be Creative! Be Active! This is a great time to move your body.
- Before any Halloween party or Trick or Treating, eat a good healthy dinner! Never send the kids (or yourself for that matter) out on an empty stomach. Make it a protein rich meal with lots of veggies like a pot of Harvest Soup with a green salad on the side. Not being hungry will keep you from sneaking your kids candy, or at least keep it to a minimum.
- Don’t buy candy you like and can’t resist! If I don’t want to eat those mini Twix bars, I avoid bringing them in the house altogether. Instead, opt to purchase a few kinds of candy that you don’t particularly like. The best way to avoid eating those mini Halloween goodies in the weeks prior to trick or treat night is to NOT have them in your house period. So don’t buy any candy until Halloween day! And, don’t overbuy on candy. Only buy the amount you think you will need for the night. If you run out, you’ve done well!
- Offer to buy your children’s excess candy from them. Even if it’s 0.10 to 0.20 cents per piece, it’s worth not having them consume the unhealthy sugars, dyes and other chemicals in the “treats” for days or weeks on end! The older the kids, the more the money it might be, but so well worth it!
- Get your kids to trade in their sweets for a better treat. Even if the trade is for one with slightly less sugar or one that is a little healthier than what they have. Make a special event of the trade, make it fun. Maybe make some favorite homemade treats in trade for the packaged ones.
- Give the kids an Epsom Salt Bath Halloween Night. If the kids (or you) over indulge, a long soak will help to both detox some of the toxins they will have ingested as well as to help everyone relax and get ready for bed.
- Use Essential Oils! What essential oils do you use for Halloween? This time of year we all need a boost for our immunity, especially if we do eat too much sweets. For Immune support: On Guard is a great blend to give your immunity a boost! If you are having a hard time calming the kids down, For Sleep Support: diffuse Serenity or Lavender to bring peace and calm back into the house. (A great thing to put into the Epsom Salt Bath!) And For Decreasing Cravings Support: Use Peppermint. Peppermint is known to help fight those sweet cravings. One drop on your tongue is all you need.
- Remember: One day will not make or break your diet! It’s just a day, if you just couldn’t help yourself, move on. One day does not define you! Start fresh the next day with a green smoothie!
- Clean house on Nov. 1! Come November first, get that candy out of the house. Agree on a date for your family to ditch the sugary treats (ideally Nov. 1) and get back to a healthy house ASAP. If buying the candy or trading didn’t get rid of all the candy, why not donate the excess to a food pantry or donate it to troops overseas? Here is an organization, Operation Gratitude, that will make sure your donations get to where they need to. This is a great way to teach our kids about those less fortunate and about how to pass their blessings forward!
If things just got out of hand, and you put on a few pounds but don’t want to go into Thanksgiving and Christmas a few pounds overweight, contact me at email@example.com.