Happy Halloween, my friends! Now you knew I’d have to write about healthy Halloween treats, didn’t you? Well, I do because that’s how I roll, but I also want to communicate the importance of having fun and not limiting yourself or your family tonight. I am not one of those people who give out raisins or toothbrushes. Oh, and I also never believed in only letting my kids have one treat and giving the rest of it away. I’d call my beliefs along those lines, “moderate indulgence”. That is, “I will indulge tonight but tomorrow I will get back on my healthy way of living.” Here are my tips for a moderately indulgent trick or (not too many) treat!
1. Go ahead and get your faves to hand out, but not TOO MANY- I always get my favorite candies to hand out. For me that is Snickers bars, Almond Joy, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Charms Blow Pops, Tootsie Pops, and Payday. I don’t open the bags of candy until Halloween afternoon that way I’m not tempted to start indulging two or three days before Halloween. I also don’t buy too many bags of candy. Since I’ve lived in this neighborhood for a few years I know how many bags I need to adequately serve the kids and I don’t buy more than that. That way there will be very little candy left over for me to be tempted by.
2. Get the miniature candy bars, not the big ones- The miniature candy bars allow for a moderate indulgence, as long as I don’t eat 20 of them! It’s better for the kids diets too. After all, if you have to open all those little candy wrappers it takes longer to ingest all the calories. But by all means, have three or four of them on Halloween night, just make sure to budget those calories a head so you won’t go over by too much.
3. Budget the leftover candy wisely- When my kids were trick or treating, I would have them choose 20 or so pieces of candy from the vast amount that they gathered. I would put them in a Ziploc bag and the rest I would donate to my daughters’ school. The teachers would use them as treats throughout the year so I didn’t feel too bad because I knew the girls would end up eating some of the donated candy anyway!
4. Hard candy may be the way to go- Here’s the thing about suckers like Charms Blow Pops (my personal fave as a kid, and you get gum to chew as an added bonus), Tootsie Pops, or hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, they take a LONG time to eat. Since it takes a while to consume, you won’t be as tempted to eat more candy after that! Plus they have few calories so it won’t totally “blow” (get it, Blow Pops?!!) your caloric budget.
5. Limit sugar in other ways- When you know you and/or your kids will be eating candy more than usual, like around Halloween, then limit the other kinds of sugar you’re eating. This is not the time to bake a batch of cookies or brownies. You’ll be getting enough sugar with the extra candy you’re eating.
So that’s my list of tips to enjoy a moderately indulgent Halloween. In addition, always make sure to brush your teeth after consuming all the sugar so that your teeth won’t suffer in the process. I also find it helpful if I eat plenty of protein before eating sugar to help balance the sugar spike that will result from the candy eating. I made a pot of chili tonight so all the meat and beans will help me not to go into sugar overload. I hope everyone enjoys Halloween tonight and by utilizing my tips for moderate indulgence you will live a life of vitality- like Valerie!