By Jessie Funchion, MS, RD, LDN
*First, check on the local information if your neighborhood is participating in trick-or-treating this year or if there are changes due to COVID-19. Consider celebrating differently if conventional trick-or-treating is not the safest option for you.
1) Eating before Trick-Or Treating. Hitting the streets with a hungry belly will mean lots of snacking throughout the night. Have a regular dinner with your family before trick-or-treating. Protein (think chicken, fish, beans) and fiber (veggies and whole grains) are especially satiating and will hold you over until that last doorbell rings.
2) It’s not ALL about candy. Costumes, contests, games and music are all festive ways to get into the spirit.
3) Portion control. Ever heard of eating off of a smaller plate to reduce portion size at dinner? Use this same trick for trick-or-treating. Swap out that XL pillowcase (which seems bottomless) for a smaller plastic bag. A full small bag is still less candy than a partially full pillowcase.
4) Don’t plan ahead. Stocking up on Halloween candy weeks in advance is never a good idea. Chances are you’ll go through that stash and have to go buy more anyway. Instead of having that temptation in the house, buy your treats just a day in advance.
5) Set some rules. Figure out what works best for your family, but here are some ideas…
- Only take one piece of candy per house
- Have X amount of candy on Halloween night, then X amount each day after. (i.e. as much as you want that night, and one piece a day after that)
6) Smart Storage. Out of sight, out of mind. Try storing the excess candy in the freezer, or in opaque jars or containers. If it’s out in easy to access bowls or clear jars, it will be a constant source of temptation.
7) Throw it out. Sometimes enough is enough. What’s that? Food waste? I hear you. But isn’t it a ‘waste’ of calories to fill your family on empty, sugary calories?
8) Be mindful. Even the most health-conscious family should indulge in their favorite sweets every now and then. When Halloween comes around, enjoy your candy mindfully. Eating mindfully means focusing and enjoying your food. Turn off the TV/phone/game, eat slowly, and focus on the smells, textures and tastes of your favorite treat.