Halloween is right around the corner! And mothers everywhere are getting their children’s costumes ready and making sure that they have enough candy to hand out at the door. But often we forget to make sure that the kids eat right before they go out on their candy hunt. Dietician Nutritionist, Jessica Levinson has some tips for how to stay healthy this Halloween!

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  1. There will always be room for candy– You will absolutely NEVER eliminate the candy intake from a child (or even adults) on Halloween, so don’t even try to. Overfeeding your child won’t do a thing besides make them feel uncomfortable and increase the amount of food they intake. They will always have room for the candy!

  2. Trick Or Treat?: We don’t want to deprive our children of their candy, but we also don’t want them eating it all up as they’re going from house to house collecting more. So how about a compromise? Let them have a lollipop (or two) while they walk around – it’s just one piece of candy that will last for at least a few houses, plus it’s a low-calorie treat! As long as they know they can indulge in some of their goodies when they get home, they won’t feel the least bit deprived. No tricks here!

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If you have kids…
  • Provide a balanced dinner. Before your kids head out for the night, make sure they have a balanced dinner that includes lean protein, lots of veggies, and a healthy starch. A healthy, balanced dinner won’t stop the kids from eating candy, but at the very least it will keep them somewhat satiated while trick-or-treating. 
  • Set the rules. Before your kids head out to gather up all the candy they can fit in their jack-o-lantern or pillowcase, lay down the law. Some guidelines you may want to adhere to include: waiting to eat the candy when they get home, not in the streets, choosing 3-4 pieces of candy that they will have that night and saving the rest for another time taking only one piece of candy, not a handful, from each house
  • Hide the stash. Once the kids are home and have eaten a few pieces of candy, put the rest away — out of sight and out of their reach. When they ask for the candy the next day, let them choose a couple of pieces as a treat. Eventually the novelty will wear off.  Just be sure you don’t get into the stash yourself!
  • Brush their teeth. Needless to say, all that candy can lead to cavities, so make sure your kids brush well when they’re done indulging!

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If you’re handing out candy…

  • Buy it tomorrow. If you haven’t already bought the candy you’re giving out, wait one more day. The longer the candy is out of your house, the less you will consume. Plus, you’ll probably get it on sale by the time you go to pick it up!
  • Hand out what you don’t like. If you don’t like it, you won’t eat it. Worried you’ll have left over and won’t know what to do with it? First, don’t buy more than you think you will get rid of. Second, anything left over you can donate to a shelter or a food pantry.
  • Add some fruit to the dish. Some kids will be excited for a box of raisins, individually wrapped or packs of dried plums, or even cute clementines (which are a perfect fit for Halloween given their orange color. You can even draw a sweet or spooky face on the clementine to make it look like a pumpkin!).

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If you’re going to a party…

  • Choose wisely. Surely there will be dishes of candy surrounding you, so do a walk through before you make your selections and then pick a few candies you’re dying to have. Pick minis over fun size, and fun size over full size.
  • Read labels. Many individual candy bars don’t have the Nutrition Facts on the package, but if they do take a look. The calories add up really fast, and if you know what you’re getting you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
  • Get a lolly! Go back to your childhood and suck on a lollipop. In the amount of time it takes you to get through one, your friends will be taking in hundreds of calories from the rest of the candy. Be a pal and suggest they have a lollipop too!
  • Drink responsibly. Often adult Halloween parties contain lots of alcohol. As always, be mindful about how much you’re drinking, watch those sugary mixes, and drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated.

For more lifestyle tips & advice head to our Wellness section

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