Candy Day: Some Tricks To Handle the Treats

Halloween (aka “Candy Day”) is upon us, and the rest of the holiday season is close to follow! Use some of these tricks to help you make it through without completely falling off the health hay ride!

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During Halloween, there are three “scary” scenarios to be aware of: 1) Passing out candy to trick-or-treaters; 2) Dealing with the candy your kids bring home from trick-or-treating; and 3) Seeing candy everywhere for the next few weeks as your friends and co-workers try to pawn the sugary stuff off on others. Here are our tips for each scenario:

 

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Passing Out Candy

The Dilemma: what should I buy that I’m OK handing over to kids, while at the same time not becoming the “boring” house on the street?

The Strategy:

Pick something small. Think Hershey’s kisses, mini peanut butter cups, or smarties. Then tell kids they can take one.

Pick something with less than 5g of sugar. This is tough, but there are some options. 1 Hershey’s nugget has 4g sugar, 1 mini peanut butter cup has 5g. Those mini Twizzlers packs come in at just over 5 (5.3g)

Pick something you’re not particularly fond of. This will help you from snacking on your own hand-out candy all night long!

Be OK throwing it away once the night is over. Really, it’s candy. It’s not that expensive, and it’s bad for you. Do yourself a favor (tip: this part is easier if you pick a candy you don’t really like)

 

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Candy In The House

The Dilemma: The kids come home from a successful trick-or-treating trip with a pillowcase full of booty – now what?

The Strategy:

Do a first-pass and ditch the bad stuff. This should be done anyway, to make sure your kids didn’t pick up anything potentially harmful and to throw out items with open/faulty packaging. Take it a step further, and separate out the stuff that’s not going to get eaten anyway. Throw it away all at once and you don’t have to look at it

Evaluate the rest of the candy pile, decide on “a reasonable amount” of each type of candy with your child(ren). Say, for instance, they come home with 50+ mini Snickers bars… maybe a more reasonable number would be 5-10

Allow candy snacking in small doses. I don’t think I have to convince any parent that letting kids go HAM on candy is NOT a good idea…

Be OK throwing it away once you’ve gone through and done an initial purge. And then be OK throwing the rest away after a week or two. There’s no need to have Halloween candy sitting around until (or through) Thanksgiving!

 

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Candy At Work (Or Other Frequented Places)

The Dilemma: Candy is EVERYWHERE after Halloween! How can I resist that temptation?!

The Strategy:

Not much I can say here except be better than the situation. If you must go for that bowl of candy on your coworker’s desk, take one piece, and do not allow yourself any more!

Hold off as long as possible. The longer you wait to take a piece, the smaller the candy dish will become… until it’s no longer an issue

Be OK throwing it away if it mysteriously ends up on your desk. You may feel pressured to take some candy (which you shouldn’t, but still). So if you must take it, say “thank you” then quietly toss it when no one is looking

Hopefully these tips and tricks help you to enjoy this crazy-fun holiday without having to feel guilty later. As always, do your best to make decisions that will perpetuate good health, and don’t stress if you have a few slip-ups along the way!

Karen Southwick