Halloween is right around the corner and despite the pandemic, the holiday is still happening.
According to a survey by Insight Into Action, 70% of moms say they expect to celebrate the holiday with their kids and 38% say they will purchase candy for them as a gift.
Yet with the recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the high risk of traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating and Halloween trunk or treat events, suffice to say, this year will look a lot different for kids.
Still, whether you’re heading out to trick-or-treat, having an outdoor, [social distanced] costume party, or carving pumpkins with your kids, there’s no doubt there will be Halloween candy.
But once the festivities are over and you’ve got loads of Halloween candy sitting around the house, it can be really tempting to dig into your kid’s stash. There’s nothing wrong with a piece of a miniature chocolate bar or some candy corn, but if you have a serious sweet tooth like me and can’t cap it at just a few pieces, it’s easy to go overboard.
So how do you avoid eating all of your kids’ Halloween candy? Here are some tips.
1. SET LIMITS ON YOUR KIDS’ HALLOWEEN CANDY
If you want to avoid eating your kids’ Halloween candy, the first step is to put the kibosh on it early.
Our kids usually come home with a ton of candy, including several full-sized chocolate bars. One of my kids has food allergies and an orthodontic appliance so the types of candy she can’t eat get set aside.
Yet to prevent both of our daughters from over-indulging, we set a limit—usually about 10 miniature pieces of candy. My husband and I may take a piece or two but the rest is donated to Operation Gratitude so we don’t eat it.
You can also set limits by setting a date for when the candy will be thrown out or donated.
2. KEEP HALLOWEEN CANDY OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
If you leave a bowl of candy out on the kitchen counter or even in the pantry, you’ll be tempted at every turn.
To avoid over-indulging in your kids’ Halloween candy, put it someplace where you can’t see it or reach out.
If you place it on the highest shelf in the pantry and you have to get out a stool or a chair to reach it, you’ll probably think twice about having it. If that’s not effective, store it in a basement cabinet or bin, in the garage, or even the shed.
3. TO AVOID EATING YOUR KIDS’ HALLOWEEN CANDY, BUY LESS
If you want to make sure you have enough Halloween candy on hand for trick-or-treaters or party guests, you may be tempted to buy several packages or large quantities at membership club stores.
If you’re usually left with a ton of leftover candy, however, think about buying less so you’re not left with candy lying around your house.
4. PUT HALLOWEEN CANDY IN THE FREEZER
Halloween candy is much harder to eat when it’s frozen so storing it in the freezer may help you avoid eating it.
If you have to take out a piece and wait for it to defrost, however, it can force you to eat least be more mindful of how much you’re eating.
5. PUT THE CANDY AWAY UNTIL THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS
If you’re someone who can keep candy in your home and not touch it, you can set aside your kids’ Halloween candy until the winter holidays.
For Thanksgiving, you can use the candy to make desserts and treats for the kids or simply set it out when dessert is served.
During Christmas, you can use the Halloween candy to make Gingerbread houses—which can help you save money at the grocery store on pricey chocolate and sweets.
6. BUY CANDY YOU DON’T LIKE
One of the ways I avoid eating my kids’ Halloween candy is to buy candy I don’t like. If I buy anything with chocolate in it, I know I’ll over-indulge so instead I buy candy that I could care less for like lollipops, Smarties, or Swedish Fish.
7. MAKE TIME FOR HEALTHY MEALS
According to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Freshly, a meal delivery service, 29 percent of people working from home do not take meal breaks.
If you’re not eating enough and getting protein, fiber, and healthy fats at every meal, you’ll be more likely to have sugar cravings and overindulge in your kids’ Halloween candy.
8. LET YOURSELF INDULGE BUT BE MINDFUL
While Intuitive Eating is still very much a work in progress for me, it has transformed the way I think about eating.
The 10 principles of Intuitive Eating include “make peace with food” and give yourself permission to eat. No food is off-limits and the food will always be there.
The principles also include “feel your fullness,” which means to look for signs that you’re no longer hungry, and to pause in the middle of your meal to think about how the food tastes and how hungry you are.
So instead of telling yourself that the Halloween candy is off-limits, “bad,” or you’re “bad” for eating it, first think about whether you even want the candy in the first place.
Perhaps a piece of fruit will satisfy your hunger and your sugar cravings.
Yet if it’s candy you really want, go ahead and give yourself permission to enjoy it but be mindful when you do.
9. DO SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD OF EATING HALLOWEEN CANDY
At the end of a long, stressful day when my kids are riled up before bedtime, the kitchen calls my name.
Although food is soothing for a few minutes, it becomes a never-ending cycle of reaching for more food to get the same effect.
The truth is that emotional eating doesn’t do anything for our health or are problems.
If you find yourself reaching for Halloween candy to deal with tough emotions, first ask yourself what you’re hungry for.
Are you lonely, anxious, bored, frustrated? Do you need comfort or an escape?
Then, have a list of things you can do before you start feeling overwhelmed.
Some ideas include:
- Leave the room
- Go out for a walk
- Do deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
- Practice Yoga—even a few poses count!
- Call a friend
- Put on music
- Paint your nails
- Take a bath
- Write in a journal
- Color in a coloring book
- Try EFT tapping
- Make a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea
10. BRUSH YOUR TEETH
One of the ways I avoid indulging in sweets after dinner is to brush my teeth right after dinner.
Not only does it signal my brain that I’m done eating, but
studies show the smell of peppermint may curb your appetite and cut back on the amount of calories you eat.
11. KEEP HEALTHY TREATS ON HAND
I love sugar but I’d much rather have a decadent piece of chocolate cake than a piece of low-quality Halloween candy.
If you have healthy and delicious treats on hand, you’ll be less likely to eat your kid’s Halloween candy and feel deprived.
You can keep store-bought treats like a piece of dark chocolate or a dried fruit bar on hand or make your own healthy homemade treats.
Related: 7 Healthy Holiday Baking Tips