Happy Halloween!! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to have fun with this holiday and enjoy it without a candy hangover! Here are a few tips so you can do the same:
1. Eat before you Trick or Treat
The temptation to dig into the huge variety of candy the kids collect while trick or treating is real! The kids want to indulge too! To ensure you and your kiddos get some good nutrition in and don’t just gorge on candy for dinner, make sure to have a hearty, nutritious meal before heading out to collect all the goodies. How about this nutritious turkey veggie meatloaf or some quick veggie-loaded peanut noodles? These Jack-O-Lantern stuffed bell peppers are a fun way to start the evening with your kids too!
2. If you’re throwing or going to a party, make a dish that adds value, not subtracts it.
You are in control of what you make, but not necessarily what others will make. If you make a dish you know is healthy, or at least upgraded from a less healthy version, you know you will have some options for a more nutritious meal at the party. You have two choices:
- Make food you know will fill the nutrition bank account of all your friends in attendance.
- Make food you think everyone will enjoy eating, but won’t leave anyone feeling healthier or better than they did before they ate it?
You know that food hangover I’m talking about. Do you want to add value to the lives of your people, or be part of the battle they may be facing to make healthier choices themselves? Here are some fun, healthy ideas to get you started: http://howdoesshe.com/healthy-halloween-treat-ideas/
Roasted brain, anyone?
3. Size Matters.
Use small plates at parties, get small bags or buckets for your kids to limit the amount of candy they collect, Choose fun sizes of candy to try instead of the full bar. Everything adds up and on days like Halloween when there are small bites and tastes of goodies everywhere you look, do your best to keep portions and your health goals in mind.
4. Be that weird neighbor who hands out something other than candy.
How about little packets of trail mix, nuts or dried fruit, fun pencils, erasers, glow sticks, bubbles, yo-yos or stickers? If you know it’s not doing you any favors, why would you give it to an impressionable little kid? Also, if you don’t buy candy, it’s not sitting in the house tempting you. I always go by Dr. John Berardi’s first law of food: “If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it” So if you don’t feel in control around candy, just don’t buy it. Here's a list with some fun ideas: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/10/05/non-candy-halloween-treats_n_8234818.html
5. Be in control of your environment.
Continuing on the point above, halloween doesn’t usually end on October 31st. There is leftover candy for weeks and possibly leftover party food in your fridge. If there is something in your house that doesn’t serve your health goals, get it out. Can you work out a plan with your kids to take most of their candy in to school to share or donate to a homeless shelter? How about trade it for movie tickets, a day at the trampoline park or a fun new board game? Can you take that leftover salami platter or mac & cheese dish in to work…or simply throw it out? Again, if the food is in your house, it will be eaten by someone at some point. Use this as a teaching opportunity for your kids. Indulging is fine every now and then, but having loads of candy every day isn’t going to make anyone feel healthy, wealthy or wise.
What are some of your tricks and treats for having a happy, healthy Halloween! Share with the masses! We can use all the support and ideas we can get as the busy holiday season begins!
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Cover photo cred: Howdoesshe.com