There's something about Halloween that brings out the sweet tooth in all of us, especially children. Between the school parties and trick-or-treating, it can be hard to keep your kids from guzzling down pounds of sugar. Registered dietician Elle Penner, who is also head of the nutrition department at MyFitnessPal, suggests these simple tips to keep Halloween healthy this year for you and your child.
1. Hold off on breaking open those bags of candy until just before trick-or-treaters arrive. Take it a step further and wait until Halloween day to purchase your treats.
2. Be a role model by keeping your own candy consumption in moderation. Enjoy one or two small pieces at a time, and allow your children to do the same.
3. Keep a tally of miniature treats. It's easy to have 3 to 4 "snack-size" treats throughout the course of the day. I'm guilty of this myself. Do the math, though, and the fat and calories quickly add up to one full-size candy bar.
4. Prepare a few healthy finger foods for you and the kids to nosh on before heading out for Halloween festivities. Doing so will likely reduce the desire to fill up on candy instead.
5. Consider a candy exchange. Allow your children to enjoy their Halloween treats for a day or two and then propose making a trade; their pillowcase full of candy for a new toy of their choice.
6. Give out non-traditional treats. Things like sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, jump ropes, glow sticks and hacky sacks are inexpensive and promote physical activity – which is probably more fun for kids than another handful of miniature candy bars.
7. Remember that Halloween, like other holidays, is just one day of the year. If you and your family make healthy eating a habit, a few days of overindulgence is perfectly OK, and should be enjoyed. Plan on making a tasty, nutritious meal over the weekend to get back on track once the trick-or-treating is over.
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