Thinking Beyond the Candy

Costumes, jack-o’-lanterns, roasted pumpkin seeds, roomy pillowcases, and- oh yeah, a whole lot of CANDY! During the month of October and the holiday seasons that follow, store shelves overflow with bags of candy, gummies, caramels, lollipops; the types of treats seem endless. In fact, sweet treats are so readily available that it often becomes a challenge to think beyond the candy no matter where you are at. 

For the health-conscious person, resisting every delicious invite to chow down on sweets and treats can be a serious challenge! If you ask me, Halloween and nutrition can be a scary combination!

The good news is that not all candy & traditional treats are created equal. Making a few quick & easy adjustments will help you avoid candy overload yet still allow you to enjoy a few of your favorite treats this Halloween season.

  • Keep portions in check. Instead of a normal-sized candy bar, opt for the snack-sized variety. After all, now is the perfect time to find a mini-size version of your favorite candy.
  • If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters, consider purchasing candy only a few days before Halloween instead of weeks in advance. You’ll be less tempted with the candy out of sight.
  • Think beyond the candy. Prepackaged trail mix, granola bars, pretzels, baked chips and popcorn are all great, healthier options to consider filling your pumpkin bucket with. Kids will love getting something tasty while their parents will enjoy seeing something other than sugary sweets being added to their kid’s collection of treats.
  • Get creative with your meal choices. There are many ways to incorporate the tastes of fall into your menu without bombarding your table with candies, sweets, or high-calorie dishes.
  • An additional way to think beyond the candy is to offer non-edible treats! A mini deck of cards, temporary tattoos, spooky rings & vampire teeth, to name a few ideas. Kids will be thrilled to get something other than candy! Just make sure to steer clear of toys that pose a choking risk for younger children.
  • When it’s time to trick-or-treat, give your children a small container for candy, rather than a giant pillowcase or bag. It’s easier to fill up! What kid wouldn’t like the look of a plastic pumpkin pail overflowing with treats?
Remember, Halloween is just one day out of the year… it’s okay to indulge a little! What is most important is making an effort to eat & live healthfully throughout the entire year! Whether you will be celebrating at home or taking the children in your life trick-or-treating, have a healthy, safe, and happy Halloween!

An Intern Behind the Plate,