Halloween is right around the corner! The famous holiday known for its jack-o-lanterns, costumes, spookiness, and trick or treat nights is also known for its unhealthy amount of sweets and candy. Whether you’re taking your kids out for trick or treat, or hosting your own Halloween party for friends, an excess of candy may seem like an essential part of the equation. But it certainly does not need to be! Here are 5 tips to help you have a healthy Halloween this year.
1. In order to stay healthy during the Halloween craze, it’s important to not eliminate, but to substitute. For one, if you are planning on giving out Halloween candy for trick-or-treat night to other children in the neighborhood, the YMCA Twin Cities suggests providing non-edible treats for children to enjoy in lieu of candy. These “treats” can include toys, arts and crafts, glow in the dark sticks, etc. and will still be an exciting treat for youth in the community, without adding to the sugar intake.
2. If you prefer to give out candy, however, consider giving out smaller, packaged pieces of candy to aid in portion control. The smaller-sized candies will help not only other parents in limiting the amount of candy consumed per day for their children, but will also help you with any leftover candy. Limiting your sweet-tooth cravings to one small piece of packaged candy per day is much better than an unlimited handful of un-packaged sweets or king-sized chocolate bars.
3. Another way to reduce the temptation to eat lots of candy during Halloween is to wait to buy the candy. Know when trick or treat night is? Have the date set for your Halloween party? Then, wait to buy the candy the day of, is possible. In addition, Active states to “Buy less than what you think you will need to avoid leftovers and, if you really don’t want to indulge at all, purchase candies that you do not like.”
4. In addition to these tips, it’s important to eat regular meals on Halloween. According to an article from Everyday Health, “Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast and lunch on Halloween so you can bank your calories for sweets. ‘The worst thing you can do is save up for Halloween by not eating,’ says JJ Virgin, CNS, nutritionist and co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters. ‘If you’re hungry, you have no willpower.’” In order to avoid over-consuming empty calories, make sure you’re filling up on the healthy ones first!
5. And lastly, if you’re going out trick-or-treating this year, make sure to wear reflective gear and do lots of walking, as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have safe neighborhoods nearby, walk to them, rather than drive. It will burn some calories and also tire the kids out, potentially limiting the amount of houses you will hit before the end of the night.
And there you have it – five ways to make this Halloween a much healthier one. During this season, however, it’s important to keep the day in perspective. It’s okay to indulge on Halloween, as long as it’s in moderation. Make a plan for your evening, so you can manage your sugar consumption and enjoy without going overboard.
And if you’re looking for some fun events for your kids in the Harrisburg area, our East Shore, West Shore, and Northern Dauphin County YMCA branches will be hosting their own versions of Halloween at the end of the October. To learn more about these exciting community events, please visit our events page or click on the links below!
- East Shore YMCA – Floating Pumpkin Patch
- West Shore YMCA – Halloween at the Y
- Northern Dauphin County YMCA – Halloween at the Y
–Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator