Tips and Tricks to help you Treat Less

By Debra Tendrich / October 1, 2017

What is the scariest part of Halloween, "the trick" or "the treat"? Is it the ghosts, monsters, and goblins? The haunted houses? The scary costumes? The terrifying stories that are told to invoke fear? Or is the scariest part of Halloween the treats? That's right, the candy.

Kids, and even most adults, look forward to this holiday all year long. Between decorating your house, carving pumpkins, and picking out the perfect costume, this is one exciting day. Wait, we can't forget the trick-or-treating. Neighborhoods are filled with kids in costumes going door to door with bags and pillowcases trying to get as much candy as possible. As cute as it may be to see all those children, it is what is stuffed inside those pillowcases that is concerning.

An average of 3.4 pounds of candy per person are eaten on that night alone. To break that down even further, that is equivalent to three cups or 220 packets of sugar. To burn that off, you would have to walk 180 miles and sincerely apologize to your liver for putting it in shock from all that sugar.
Tips and Tricks

Even though the treats are fun, it is our responsibility to regulate the amount we consume. Here are some helpful tricks to help you treat a little less on Halloween.

Eat Before you trick-or-treat. Have your family enjoy a nice and nutritious dinner before trick-or-treating, you will be less likely to indulge.

Don't give out candy. Wait...what? Kids will generally choose a cool toy over a piece of candy. Glow sticks, stickers, fake tattoos, vampire teeth, spider rings, stamps, balloons, cards, pencils, erasers, and other small toys are some fun ideas that cost about the same as a bag of candy.

Wear a pedometer. Get your friends, family and/or neighbors to carry a pedometer while trick-or-treating and see who takes the most steps on Halloween. Not only is this a fun competition, but it will encourage you to walk even more than normal.

Don't eat the candy while you are trick-or-treating. People tend to overindulge and do not keep track of how much candy they are consuming while grazing all night long.

Sort out your favorites. Pick out your favorite candy and throw out the rest. If you don't want to throw it away, find a local dental office or store that will buy back your Halloween candy. The goal of the buyback program is to get the candy away from the kids while supporting our troops by shipping the candy overseas. You can typically get around $1 per pound and the cash alone is a great incentive for the kids.

Eat fruit with your candy. Cut up fresh fruit and make your children eat 1 piece of fruit with each piece of candy.

One week is the limit. With mounds of candy lying around, candy consumption usually carries on for several weeks. Have the kids pick between 7 and 21 pieces of their favorite candy. Set a daily limit of one to three pieces of candy.

Make a candy plan. Discuss with your kids in advance the candy rules. That way, after trick-or-treating and they have all the candy lying in front of them, they know what to expect.

Halloween can still be fun without overeating candy. The tricks mentioned above can guide you into making better Halloween decisions. So be safe, have fun and have a healthy and happy Halloween.

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