Halloween is quickly approaching! Whether you have candy on hand to give out to neighborhood kids, treats to give out to the kids of your family and friends, or your own kids plan on trick-or-treating until their bags are full, you may end up with a lot of tempting treats around the house. Try these tips to help avoid overindulging on candy.
Donate it. Many organizations will take leftover candy. Look for local charities, food pantries or dentists. There are other organizations that send care packages to our troops, like Soldiers’ Angels, who collect Halloween candy. You can search for businesses in your area that will accept candy donations to send to our service members and veterans here. Operation Gratitude also accepts candy donations. In addition to our troops and veterans, they also make care packages for First Responders, wounded heroes and their caregivers, and military families. Click here to learn more.
Call your local children’s hospital or Ronald McDonald house. There are many children and families who are unable to trick-or-treat, but accept candy donations on behalf of the children they’re caring for.
Blame it on the “switch witch.” Swap some of your kids’ candy for small toys or money after they go to sleep on Halloween night. Or if your kids are older and won’t believe in the “switch witch,” try to buy the candy baack from them. You can then donate the candy to a worthy cause without feeling like you took their hard-earned candy without giving anything in return!
Put it away. If the candy isn’t easily available, it makes it easier to avoid. You may find it helpful to bag the candy in several sandwich-size zipper bags and only have one in your pantry at a time. Keep the rest in a hard-to-reach spot. If you want to keep the candy handy for special treats for your kiddos, but don’t want to overindulge yourself, this article may help.
Make your own trail mix. Offset the sugar by including some candy in your own trail mix recipe alongside some healthier ingredients. Incorporate healthier items like nuts, whole grain pretzels, cereal, granola and dried fruit.
Set a time limit to keep it and toss or donate leftover candy after a week. This gives both you and your family an opportunity to enjoy it, but not overdo it.
Fill up on healthy foods first. If you know you have candy lying around, it can be difficult to avoid temptation, especially if you’re hungry.
Limit yourself. Follow the recommended daily serving size. If you have the bag or box the candy came in, you can check the serving size to determine how much to eat.
Keep it in perspective. Remember, candy is empty calories and unnecessary sugar; it isn’t contributing to your health. In fact, over time the excess calories and sugar can have negative effects.
Save your empty wrappers. The surplus of candy makes it easy to eat and eat without realizing how much you have cumulatively eaten. Saving your wrappers can help you see how much you ate and hopefully prevent you from overdoing it.
Looking for creative recipes to use up your candy? Click here!
From all of us at Health Advocate, we hope you and your family have a fun, safe, and healthy Halloween!