For health-conscious parents, Halloween can be tricky, not to mention tempting. Do you set limits? Let your kids decide how much to eat?
Elizabeth DeRobertis, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, Scarsdale resident and Director of Nutrition at Scarsdale Medical Group offers the following tips on managing the fun, while also keeping in mind everyone's waistlines and nutritional health.
- Keep Halloween candy hidden until D-Day as otherwise, access is too easy and you may want to sneak some bites.
- Buy candy that is not your favorite. If you buy your very favorite candy it is too tempting, and you are at risk of eating too much of it.
- Consider giving out lollipops . They take longer to eat, and the calories are less than most types of candy (usually around 45-60 calories per pop).
- Leave the candy bowl outside when you go to sleep ; hopefully, when you wake up in the morning the candy will be gone.
- If you have a few small pieces of candy on Halloween -- don't stress . The bigger damage takes place when you have extra candy lingering around the house for days and weeks to come.
- Donate extra candy ; there are many programs around that will be happy to take it.
- Have a plan in place for all those trick or treat treats. Most kids are excited about the candy the first day or two, but by Day Three if it disappears ... many will not notice. Let your kids pick out their favorite candy from what they brought home, and agree to donate the rest.
- Know yourself. Many people feel triggered by refined carbohydrates, so if you know that having a small candy is going to trigger you to have one more.. and then one more.. walk yourself through your food choice and ask yourself if you should have the first bite.. or if it is better to resist and chew a piece of gum instead, knowing it can be a slippery slope.
- Give out candy in 100 calorie size packages , or better yet something like pretzels or popcorn in 100 calorie packs, so if it doesn't all go, you can use it for your kid's snacks.
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