Did you know that Americans purchase close to 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween? This fun-filled holiday is right around the corner, and it can be difficult to stay healthy with the excitement around Halloween candy. Before suiting up and heading out the door for trick or treating, follow these tips to keep your family safe and healthy this Halloween.
• Fill your stomach with a healthy dinner. Going out on a full stomach curbs the hunger that leads to snacking on candy. If timing is difficult, prepare dinner the night before or use a slow cooker so dinner is ready early.
• Set a game plan with your kids. Limit them to one piece of candy per house but allow them to go to more houses or stay out longer.
• Make trick or treating an exercise by walking around your neighborhood. Have a competition to see who can be the most active by wearing pedometers.
• Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle for you and your children and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
• Make sure your kids stay safe. Keep an eye on them at all times and review safety tips such as looking both ways before crossing the street and staying with a group.
• Wash your hands after trick or treating to prevent the flu and other illnesses.
• Prevent tooth decay by being extra vigilant about brushing and flossing teeth.
• Portion out candy by setting a rule about how much candy to eat a day. Keep the rest hidden and out of sight. Better yet, donate extra candy or find a buy-back program. You can mail your extra candy to Operation Gratitude and they will include it in care packages to U.S service members overseas.
Help your neighbors stay healthy by giving out small toys such as crayons, stickers, key chains or glow sticks instead of candy. You can also get creative and make fun, healthy treats such as trail mix or granola bars with your kids.
Written by: Christina Jung, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. American Heart Association
3. Huffington Post