Tips for a Healthy Halloween

tips for a healthy halloween

Halloween is not only a scary holiday full of monsters, haunted houses, and horrifying movies, but it’s also a terrifying holiday in terms of calorie overload.   The average American consumes roughly 24 pounds of candy per year, with most of it being around Halloween.  If this isn’t alarming enough, the average child eats 3,500 – 7,500 calories of candy each year from Halloween – ekkk!

As frightening as these facts are, we are in total favor of splurging on the occasional treat (or two) and enjoying the holidays.  The key to this is being able to do so in moderation and in control.  To make this attainable, we’ve complied a list of tips to help you and your family enjoy a healthy Halloween:

#1  Wait to Buy
If you are one of those people who can’t have candy in your home without binging on it, it’s best to wait to buy your Halloween candy until the day before, or better yet, the day of.  This will limit the amount of time that the treats sit in your home and in turn will lead to less consumption on your end!  If you find yourself with excess candy at the end of the night, a great way to get rid of it is to donate the surplus, which you can read more about in tip #4.

#2  Buy Candy Alternatives
A great way to eliminate the candy stash in your home is to buy alternative treats to hand out to the neighborhood.  Think festive stickers, bubbles, silly putty, glow sticks, yo-yos, and other small treasures that will excite small children.  Now you may not get voted as the best trick-or-treat home in the neighborhood (we know kids really love the king size candy bars), but it’s a great way to mix it up a bit and provide some non-sugary treats.

#3  Practice Portion Control
If you have a sweet tooth and plan on indulging during this festive time, channel your inner will power and practice portion control.  Plan out when you will have your treat and keep it within the 100-150 calorie range, and most importantly, stick to your plan.   Check out the following link to see how various treats measure up in terms of calories, fat, and sugar: http://www.leanitup.com/the-great-big-list-of-halloween-candy-nutrition-calories-sat-fat-trans-fat-sugar/

#4  Donate Excess Candy
The best way to get rid of the excess candy at the end of the holiday is to donate it to a deserving organization; don’t bring it to work!  By doing so, you are saving you and your family from hundreds of unwanted calories all while supporting a cause.  There are various organizations around the county that participate in The Halloween Candy Buyback Program, that collects excess candy and ships it overseas in care packages to support the troops.  Follow the link below to find an organization near you that participates: http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com

If you have children….

#1  Eat a Healthy Dinner
If you have kids and they plan on trick-or-treating, make sure everyone has a healthy dinner before heading out for the evening.  Not only will this start the evening off on a healthy note, but everyone will be less tempted to go right for the candy with a full belly.

#2  Walk don’t Drive
If your kids are trick-or-treating, have them walk from house to house.  Please do not drive your kids from block to block (unless it is necessary from a medical stand point).  Driving your kids around will not only encourage lazy behavior, but it will also enable your kids to cover more ground and collect more candy (which we’re sure they don’t need).

#3  Buyback
A great way to encourage your kids to not consume all of the candy that they collect on Halloween is to establish a “buyback” program.  This will ensure that your kids won’t eat the entire bucket of candy that they collect (you can set aside a small portion of candy for them to keep).  Set a reasonable price point for each piece of candy and at the end of the night payout the given amount that they have earned.  We suggest agreeing upon what they will use the money for beforehand so that everyone in the family is on the same page.  Afterwards, donate the candy that you have bought back and involve your kids in the donation process.

Photo courtesy of: evgenyb/bigstock.com

Written by DeHenzel Training Systems
Tips for a Healthy Halloween

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

Within Northern Virginia, we service Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge.

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