Halloween is a special time of year. Ushered in by aisles full of candy and celebrated with a touch of imagination, it is a magical event where adults and children alike can be whatever they dream to be for one single night.
A part of the magical spell Halloween has us under is our diet. Although it is tempting to swear off candy or limit our children’s consumption of it when faced with bags of goodies captured after a night of trick-or-treating, allowing ourselves to enjoy it may not be such a bad thing. In fact, allowing kids to eat as much candy as they want may not even result in them eating everything they gather. In a survey conducted by KidsHealth.org, only 20% of the 1200 participating children said that they ate all of their Halloween candy and 60% of the participants said that it took them 2 weeks to finish it all off.
Instead of cutting out candy completely on Halloween, perhaps consider allowing your family to have a Halloween treat pass until the clock strikes midnight. This way your kids can enjoy the splendor of gathering as much candy as they can, but will also prevent them from extending the candy mentality into the rest of the year.
Once the clock strikes midnight (or whatever time you find appropriate for your child’s age) and the treat pass expires, it’s back to real-life eating. Alth0ugh it may be tempting to continue to eat the candy leftover from the night before, it’s important to show restraint. Instead, get creative! Finding ways to use up the candy without eating it may be a challenge, but you won’t regret turning your treats into a fun activity both you and your children can enjoy.
To help get you started, here are a few ideas:
- Create silly faces on a plate by gluing on various candy pieces. For example, candy corns for eyes or noses and licorice for hair or lips.
- Chop candy into small pieces and save in the freezer to use as dessert toppings at future celebrations.
- Donate any unopened treats to a local food bank or shelter.
- Send a Halloween package overseas to our troops.
- Create treat bags for a local long-term care facility.
When it comes to Halloween, just like any other holiday, the emphasis should be on the experiences you share with your loved ones and less about the food. The food is there to compliment the activity, and not the other way around. So relax, enjoy your time together, and have fun in the magical moment brought on by a night of excitement and celebration.
October 23rd, 2011