Have a Happy Halloween

Starting now and over the next several weeks, it is likely  you will see many articles and news stories from dietitians and other health  experts on healthy holidays and avoiding holiday weight gain. As we reach a “difficult” time of year when many people give up for the next  couple of months, we truly want people to stay on track over the next couple of months

As the holiday season kicks off with Halloween there are differing views on how to approach it, especially if you have kids. Some say, “Let them enjoy it, it is just one day!” And others will say, “Let them pick their favorites and throw the rest out.” While Halloween is “just one day,” let’s be honest and acknowledge that Halloween celebrations are much more than one day and the loot collected on Halloween night last much longer than just one night.

For adults, even if we no longer have children at home, it is tempting if we have the candy to hand out. As someone who refused to buy the candy until just yesterday (the 29h), I still had to hide it from the family as soon as I walked in the door. Just having the candy around the house is a problem for many people. I know people who have already bought their Halloween candy three times.

Here are tips for you and your household, whether you have kids inside the house or not:

  1. Plan a “real” dinner. Have an easy to make, hearty soup and sandwiches, a Crockpot meal or even a pizza before the kids head out the door. So the kids don’t get the stomach ache, they should have something in their stomach before they head out for the treat-trek. Make sure you have some too. One of my favorites is Loaded Potato Soup. Very filling and everyone loves it.
  2. Don’t snack on the candy yourself. Many times the adults will give themselves a treat with each visit to the door. Chew on gum, or have a bowl of popcorn for yourself.
  3. Be generous. If it seems like you may have some candy left over, be generous  in the last half-hour, such as 8:30 – 9:00, or whatever your cut-off time is. If you run-out earlier, no biggie.
  4. Sort the candy. When the kids come home, let them sort the candy into three piles: what they love, what they hate, and what is just “okay.” If you have any left-over candy of your own, do the same.
    1. Keep what you love: Enjoy it throughout the next several days and weeks.
    2. Freeze the just “okay” stuff or think about donating it. If you toss it in the freezer, after a week or two, take it out and reconsider whether you really want it.
    3. Donate what you hate: There are many community buy-back locations or donation locations. If you can’t find one, Operation Gratitude accepts candy donations to send care-packages to troops serving over-seas. Consider shipping it to them. When kids hear about this program, many of them are very willing to get a group
      collection together and give a lot of their candy.
    4. Consider dinner and a movie OUT. If you have no kids at home, then this is an option to “avoid” the temptations of having the candy and the “trick-or-treats” altogether. Heck, it could be cheaper than the cost of the candy, and much more fun!

No matter what you do, enjoy and I get dibs on the dark chocolate candies your kids don’t want. I’ll send you my address.

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