Sometimes the scariest part of Halloween is attempting to button one’s jeans after filling up on candy. While this is an indulgent holiday by nature, we’ve learned simple ways to relish the event without feeling a sugar hangover. Here’s our countdown list for enjoying a happy and healthy Halloween.
1. Bake up good-for-you, festive food: Cooking Light suggests recipes for health-conscious seasonal treats that range from candied apples and spiced pumpkin biscuits to ghost-shaped Rice Krispies Treats. Eating Well offers great ideas, too.
2. Rethink tricks and “treats”: Mix up the giveaway game even more by nixing candy and distributing toys to youngsters instead. Try funky erasers, stickers, faux tattoos or glow sticks.
3. Everything in moderation: On Halloween night, fill up on a well-balanced dinner before making the trick-or-treat rounds. As a general rule, stock up on healthy carbs (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes).This will help to curb cravings for less-healthy carbs (like refined sugar) that lead to that inevitable “crash.”
4. Stock baskets with healthier snacks: In lieu of sugar-laden candy, consider handing out cereal or granola bars, string cheese, trail mix, pretzels or cracker sandwiches (like whole wheat and cheese or multigrain peanut butter). Other non-traditional options include shelled peanuts, rich with omega-3 fatty acids, and pumpkin seeds, which are loaded with zinc and magnesium.
6. Work for your reward: Instead of driving between houses or neighborhoods, walk the entire route. The pay-off? Guilt-free candy-testing once you’ve arrived back home.
7. The rules of restraint: Once kids have unloaded their loot, stick to a system that encourages rationing versus a late-night binge. Set aside a few favorites and hide the rest (allotting a certain number of treats to be enjoyed each night). Alternatively, give away part of your bounty. Consider donating to a local senior citizens home, food pantry, children’s hospital or Ronald McDonald House. Another fantastic option: Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to troops, runs a Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program.
8. Don’t sweat it: In the end, remember that holidays are special, memory-making times when we get to cut ourselves some slack. If you happen to overindulge, simply savor it, and move on. Tomorrow is a new day, and thankfully, Halloween only comes once a year.
Tags: family activities