Perhaps the only thing scarier than the inevitable Miley Cyrus costumes this Halloween is the calories, fat and sugar that will suddenly become all-too-convenient to consume. Thankfully, Medifast has provided some great tips for keeping your sweet tooth under control on Oct. 31.
Ensure that your children eat a balanced meal before trick-or-treating. While you may have every intention of rationing out their candy, you may not be able to stop them from dipping into it when they are walking from house to house. If they haven’t already eaten dinner, they may be more inclined to have a few pieces too many. On an empty stomach, all that candy can cause blood sugar to spike, then crash, leaving your children feeling tired and hungry all over again.
Even if it’s cold out, don’t drive from house to house. Make sure your children bundle up and wear comfortable shoes so that they're willing to walk, and try to go further than just your neighborhood. All those extra steps can help burn off excessive calories from candy.
Start early so that if your children get tired, you can go back home for a break, then head back out. Make sure older siblings who are not trick-or-treating (but may eat some of the candy accumulated) come along for the activity. You can even give your children pedometers and have a contest to see who can get the most steps in. If it really is too cold, most malls offer trick-or-treating while walking from store to store.
Buy candy the night of Halloween. That way, you and your children are less likely to eat it beforehand. Buy candy that you and your family don’t enjoy for the same reason. Choose fun-sized candy bars and candy that is lower in fat, such as Twizzlers and York Peppermint Patties in case you do decide to eat some. Keep your receipt so that if you have unopened bags left, you can return them to remove the temptation from the house.
Only keep your children’s favorite candies. If you hold on to candy that they don’t want, you’re likely to be the one eating it! Give unwanted candy away to neighbors or food pantries.
Remember that candy is full of preservatives and has a long shelf life. There’s no reason to finish it all right away. Store candy out of your children’s reach, and give them a piece now and then over the next few months. If they receive full or king-sized candy bars, cut them into pieces instead of giving the whole thing at once. Let them ask for it instead of offering it on a daily basis.
Plan a party that’s focused on fun activities, like pumpkin carving, scary stories and face painting instead of food. Keep healthy and festive treats on hand. Play around with fresh produce; you can make baby carrots and celery into a pumpkin shape, make a monster smoothie with spinach and fruit, and have plenty of frozen grape eyeballs lying around. Keep the guests active with a Monster Mash dance marathon!
Take advantage of parades and pumpkin picking to get in extra activity while enjoying the festivities of the season.