As a child I always enjoyed getting dressed up and going trick or treating with my family and friends. I even more so enjoyed eating lots of candy! If you know me, you likely know I enjoy candy (I don't have it often, but when I do I REALLY enjoy it). I can still remember my favourite Halloween treats (Starburst, Sour Patch Kids, Popeye Candy Sticks, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). These are fun memories that make Halloween so nostalgic and exciting. However, with all that being said I believe there are ways to limit excessive sugar intake during Halloween and enjoy your treats mindfully.
Tips to Help Your Children Enjoy Halloween Candy Mindfully
1. Have your children sort through their candy and divide them into two groups. The ones they love and the ones they don't love. This is an easy way to remove the "unloved" treats from your house and control how many treats are being eaten.
2. While enjoying the treats engage your children's senses (taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound). Ask them questions like; how does the candy feel in your mouth (i.e, crunchy, mushy, chewy etc.), how many chews does it take to eat that candy? What does it smell like, taste like?
Engaging your child's senses will help promote mindful eating by having them think about the treat they are enjoying. It also slows down the process, leaving room for a smaller amount of treats.
3. Explain how it is important to listen to your body and hunger. Even though it is exciting to have so many treats our bodies don't need a lot of sugar. Explain why it is important to only enjoy a couple treats at a time. Set limits that work for you and your family.
4. Eliminate distractions. When enjoying treats try to avoid eating them in front of the TV or other electronics, this promotes mindless eating.
Additional Tips for Halloween Night
2. You don't have to give out candy, consider handing out Halloween stickers, bouncy balls, tattoos, erasers, glow bracelets (the Dollar Store is a great place to stock up on goodies that would also be appropriate to hand out).
3. Get rid of some of the candy (give them away or have your child trade them for non-candy items i.e., family movie night, time at the park, trampolining, ice skating etc.)
What do you do after Halloween, when there is more than enough mini chocolates and candies sitting around?
Bottom line: set a candy limit, which in turn limits how much is actually coming into your house.
Save Some of the Candy!
Baking – you can use different chocolates in baking or trail mixes with bonus treats. For example, M&M's can replace chocolate chips in cookies or muffins and can also be placed in trail mixes with different nuts and seeds.
Educational activities – perhaps use some chocolates or candies as a treat for your child that also allows for learning. Why not use pieces of chocolates to explain patterns, addition, subtraction, fractions, and so much more!
- Many dentist offices will buy back your candy for small amounts of money or gift cards. Take advantage of this and get rid of some of your candy.
- Bring some to upcoming events, work, or other places where the candy and chocolate can be enjoyed by many instead of just the few of you in your home.
Cheers to happy and healthy eating (using all your senses).
Happy Halloween! :)
Until next time,
Eat Right Feel Right - Angela
Angela Wallace is a Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist), Family Food Expert, and Certified Personal Trainer. She specializes in women and child nutrition and fitness. She uses a “non-dieting approach,” with her ultimate goal being to help people find a healthy balanced lifestyle and a healthy relationship with food. Life is busy, and she totally gets that. She is all about helping support people in finding quick, simple, and effective ways to eat healthy meals and get moving more.
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