I love fall. Pumpkin patches, apple cider, brightly colored leaves and crisp morning air- if I could create my perfect world it would be eternally fall. But then there is Halloween. It's not that I dislike halloween, I love seeing the kids get dressed up, and carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds....but all that candy. Yikes.
It appears on the store shelves a month early, calling to you. If you are strong enough to not cave and open it before the trick or treaters come there is still always some leftover, or your kids drag in their heavy bags and now your house is full of candy and temptations. By the time the candy is gone, it's almost Thanksgiving and then you are prepping fpr christmas with cookies and treats and parties and before you know it you are making your New Year's resolutions and wishing the last 2 months of poor nutrition choices would just magically disappear. But it doesn't have to be that way. The holidays don't ahve to derail you from all the hard work you have been putting into your body and your nutrition choices, but the first step is to get past Halloween. Because, one small piece often turns to 2 or 3 and then it's easy to lose track of what you may have eaten.
Here are some ideas to keep those candy calories under control:
- Don't buy it at all, give away non food treats like pencils or bouncy balls instead
- Buy candy you don't like so you are not tempted to snack on it through the night and when your are ready to turn off your light make that last trick or treater happy by emptying your bowl into their bag
-Buy your candy at the last minute to avaoid the pre-Halloween snacking
- If you do have leftover candy donate it, there are lots of places like shelters or military commands that take candy donations
- "sell" the candy: Lots of dentists office and other businesses offer a candy buy back program where they will trade something like a water bottle or other prize for turned in candy
- Help your kids learn to enjoy the holiday without launching them into a month long sugar coma. Let them trick or treat and then lay out and sort their candy. Here is where you have to decide what limits work for you and your kids, I will share what I do but you have to find what works for you. I allow mine a few pieces on Halloween and then they pick a designated number of their favorite pieces to keep (in my house it's 15). They keep them seperate and can have one a day for 2 weeks. By allowing them to have some and then learn to limit themselves so they don't overdo the rest it helps them learn to enjoy the treat without feeling like they need to go overboard. This will leave you plenty of left over candy though that you can try some of these other ideas with:
- Make small ziploc bags full and hand to homeless people
- Save some of the 'good stuff' to turn into bus driver and teacher gifts for the holidays- thank you Pinterest for having tons of cute ideas)
- Trade candy in for a non food item instead (then you donate the traded in candy as above)
- Send leftover candy into school for the teacher to use in treasure boxes
- Do Candy Science Experiments
- Take it to the office and leave it near the coffee machine for co-workers
These are just a few ways to keep your house a low temptation zone this week, please feel free to share any other ideas you have or links to local businesses you know are part of the candy buy back program.
I know a lot of you have been making wonderful strides with your nutrition and planning especially those of you that participated in the last challenge. You don't want a few bite sized pieces of candy to get in the way of your healthy habits. Making great choices now, will set yourself up for success as we head into the rest of the holiday season.