Nothing like a holiday that revolves around scary costumes, haunted houses and SUGAR! More packaged candy is consumed on and around Halloween than any other time of the year, including Christmas and Thanksgiving combined. How can you enjoy Halloween without adding a loop to your belt?
First and foremost, give yourself rules. Vowing to keep your hand out of the candy bowl will only set you up to fail. Instead, decide on two or three favorites in which you will indulge. Pick the “mini” or “snack” sizes, and savor each delicious bite. If you are keeping candy around for trick-or-treaters, choose items you don’t like. Love chocolate, but not a huge fan of fruity treats? Pick Skittles over Crunch Bars to eliminate temptation. Also, consider handing out stickers or spooky rings instead of candy. These can be purchased at any dollar store. Kids will still get plenty of candy, I promise.
Plan to break a sweat the day of Halloween. Shoot for 30-45 minutes of moderate to intense cardio as well as weight training. This will raise your metabolism for the remainder of the day and help you burn off some of those calories. Remember, you can’t out train a bad diet, but Halloween is only one day a year!
On the 31st, eat all your usual meals, especially dinner if you’re headed to a party or trick-or-treating. Include lean protein and lots of vegetables to help fill you up. Carry water throughout the day and that evening to keep your hands and mouth busy (and out your child’s candy bag)! Your children should follow the same rules. Don’t send them out the door without a full tummy.
Remember, Halloween is only ONE DAY. What should you do once your kids have mounds of candy at home? Consider donating! Yakima Pediatric Dentistry ( 3909 Creekside Loop, Suite 140) gives children $1 per pound of candy, then donates the sweets to our troops. Some local schools also have donation programs. Ask your child’s teacher or principal for more information. One local mom recommended letting children choose 10 pieces to keep for lunches, then donating the rest. Most parents say kids don’t even miss it!
Another fun idea is to make a Christmas countdown using Saran Wrap and colored ribbons (see a tutorial at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/candy-garland-710110/). This will allow your child one small piece a day, and keep you out of the candy stash.
Notice that I never said you had to STAY AWAY from the candy; instead, enjoy in moderation and make the best choices possible. I’ll leave you with a list of the best and worst Halloween candies from David Zinczenco’s Eat This Not That. Happy Haunting!
Best Halloween Candy Winners: Fun Size Candy Bar – 3 Musketeers (63 calories, 2 g fat, 10 g sugar) Fruit Candy – Dum Dum Pops (77 calories, 0g fat 10.5g sugar in 3 pops) Miniature Candy Bar – Tootsie Roll (70 calories, 1.5 g fat, 9.5 g sugar in 3 pieces) Chewy Candy – Now and Later (53 calories, .5 g fat, 10 g sugar in 4 pieces) Seasonal Candy – Candy Corn (70 calories, 0 g fat, 14 g sugar in 11 pieces)
Scary Halloween Candy Choices: Fun Size Candy Bar – Butterfinger (100 calories, 4 g fat (2g saturated), 10 g sugar) Fruit Candy – Airheads (140 calories, 1.5g fat (1 g saturated) 19g sugar in 3 pieces) Miniature Candy Bar – Twix (150 calories, 7 g fat (4 saturated), 15 g sugar in 3 pieces) Chewy Candy – Caramels (160 calories, 4.5 g fat (3.5 saturated), 16 g sugar in 4 pieces) Seasonal Candy – Reese’s Pumpkin (170 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 16 g sugar)
Lindsey Woodkey of Ellensburg is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with bachelors’ degrees in exercise science and nutrition from Central Washington University