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Taming the Halloween Sugar Monster

Halloween is right around the corner, and for those of us who are trying to watch our sugar intake, this is not a favorite season. The availability of candy makes it very difficult to stay away from sugar, as everyone seems to have it out for all to enjoy. Finding ways to tame a sweet tooth without feeling like you are sacrificing may ensure that you do not overindulge.

We all know that sugar isn’t the healthiest thing for our bodies.  In fact, one study recently recommended children consume no more than 6 teaspoonfuls of sugar each day.  Since most candy bars contain more than 6 teaspoons of sugar, Halloween is a Holiday where we should be mindful of how much sugar our children are consuming. While it is the tradition to give out candy to trick-or-treaters, there are other options to provide a fun and celebratory Halloween to all.  Here are a few tips and tricks.

Do Not Buy Until Halloween

Procrastinate. Do not buy your Halloween candy until the day before or even the day of Halloween. The more time it spends in your home, the more time that you have to eat it. If Halloween candy is not in your home, you may be less likely to eat it. This is a time when it is a good thing to procrastinate! You may even save some money, as stores may start marking down candy the afternoon of Halloween.

Take Advantage of the Size

One of the best things about Halloween candy is the serving size. If you can limit yourself to one piece, you are not going to totally derail yourself.  Make sure to determine if one piece is going to be a trigger to binge, or if it will be enough to fill the desire for a sugary treat.

Get Away From Sugary Candy Entirely

There are dozens of non-food Halloween treat options that you can consider. Stickers, tattoos, bubbles, small toys, pencils, and play dough are just a few ideas. Oriental Trading is a great resource for non-food treats, or you can check your local big box store in the party favor section to get some ideas as well. You may be surprised by the ideas that can be sparked in the Halloween party section, as many stores have branched into offering more non-food treat choices.

Sugar Is Not the Only Enemy

While you may think that sugar is the enemy, another is food dyes lurking in many Halloween treats.  Food dyes have been associated with hyperactivity disorders, which means that you want to refrain from buying foods with food dyes when possible. One source for clean Halloween Candy is at Natural Candy Store.  They offer a variety of naturally dyed candies that kids will recognize and love. If you have a local Trader Joes or you are a member of Co-op, these may also be good resources for candies free of food dyes.

Eat a Healthy Meal Before You Go Trick or Treating

If you eat before you go out, it can cut down on the grab and eat that goes on while strolling down the street from house to house. Cooking with your slow cooker makes it super easy, because it will be ready when you get home from work. One meal idea is Slow Cooker Chicken Chili with Cheesy Jalapeno Sour Cream Corn Muffins. Enjoy it with a Kale and Apple Salad, and you have a filling, delicious, and nutritious meal that will keep that sugar monster under control. Taking the time to eat as a family before trick-or-treating may make a big difference in the amount of candy you and your children eat that evening. A full tummy is less likely to eat extra candy.

If you are trying to decrease your sugar intake, and the sugar intake of your children, consider planning ahead. Utilize these tips and tricks to create healthy Halloween fun! Halloween doesn’t have to just be about the candy. Fun can be had with alternative candy choices, and with non-food options like stickers, games, and small toys. Happy Halloween, and beware of that Halloween sugar monster!

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