Trick-or-Treat Tricks

Jennifer Leheska, PhD, RD, LD

Are you among the 70.6% of Americans who will have their light on October 31st to greet all the little ghost and goblins anxious to see how much candy loot they can pile on? The National Retail Federation expects Halloween candy sales to be $2.7 billion, and 95% of Americans will make these purchases. So, no matter if you are the giver or the receiver you will likely splurge on at least one Halloween treat. A single treat won’t increase your waistline or move the dial on the scale; however, Halloween is the starting point of a two-month marathon of special holiday treats and celebrations which can quickly add up and leave you wondering what happened come January 1st when your favorite pants are too tight. Here are three tricks to enjoy the holiday and avoid a spooky outcome:

  1. Be sneaky
  2. Try non-edible treasures
  3. Purge the treats

Be Sneaky:

Kids love special treats, but that doesn’t mean they only get excited about sugary candies with fancy wrappers and bright colors. Believe it or not, kids get excited about healthy treats if given the option! Most people don’t consume the daily recommended amount of fruit or veggies and often welcome fruit’s natural sweetness as a special treat. Worried healthy options won’t be well received? Do your own study and offer a bowl of one of the following options next to a bowl of traditional sugary candies and observe the selection.

  • Oranges and apples
  • Boxes of raisins
  • Fruit and veggie squeeze pouches
  • Popcorn or nut mixes

Try non-edible treasures

Children love little treasures. So, save on the extra calories and added sugar by handing out some of the following:

  • Pencils and erasers
  • Glow sticks
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Jump ropes

Purge the treats:

Chances are no matter if you have children or not you will end up with your own bowl full of loot. Halloween is the launch pad for the Holiday season which means there will continue to be a rapid influx of special treats over the coming months. When you combine that with cooler weather and fewer chances to be physically active extra pounds can creep on quickly. So, a simple solution is enjoy the candy for a few days then purge it to avoid the daily temptation. A fun way to do this is to incorporate the tradition of the switch-witch who comes to your home and switches the candy you leave with a toy or a book. Or donate it to a local organization who sends to military stationed overseas.

Don’t let those sneaky pounds creep on this Halloween. Instead, incorporate one or all of these tricks: 1) be sneaky; 2) try non-edible treasures and 3) purge the treats. This year make new traditions and help keep the neighborhood children and yourself healthy and happy.