How to manage Halloween’s sweetness!

15 Oct How to manage Halloween’s sweetness!

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween.  I love the fact that the kids all dress up and run around the neighborhood trick or treating.  It’s good fun and a great excuse to visit the neighbors at large.  I also look forward to our neighborhood parents gathering, where we enjoy wine and cider from the porch as we watch the kids run up and down the street.

Of course, my ‘hate’ relationship comes from the pounds of candy that my children and all the rest of the kids receive on this day.  We weighed the candy bags last year and the three of them collected  nearly 100 pounds of candy!  Let’s face it, there is NO WAY they are ever going to eat all of that candy (even if I did allow it)!  The thought of it makes me cringe, given the amount of sugar, artificial dyes, preservatives, additives, and genetically modified ingredients, and the damage it can cause, particularly in our children. According to NielsenWire, in 2012, Americans purchased 600 million pounds of candy during the Halloween timeframe, which amounts to nearly 2 pounds of candy / person!  I don’t want to think about how much ends up on our bellies and thighs!

Have you ever noticed that in early to mid-November people seem to get more colds?  Studies indicate that sugar compromises our immune system, which can make us more susceptible to illness.   So, think about that as you are snacking away on those Butterfingers!

At our house, we do not give out candy to the trick-or-treaters.  This year, we will hand out glow bracelets and necklaces, which will be the perfect accompaniment for the dark.  It will make the kids more visible to the cars as well.  Last year, my younger daughter initially told me that our house was ‘lame’ for handing out glow sticks.  That was until she heard one of the neighborhood teenagers telling other kids in the street – “Go to the corner house.  They are handing out purple glow necklaces!”  Our house went from lame to cool in a matter of seconds!  Another great option is 10 oz. water bottles. Kids work up a thirst as they run from house to house.

I am not a total spoil-sport; my kids go trick-or-treating and collect their pounds of candy.  I don’t ask them how much they eat while they are out trick-or-treating, but I do give them a healthy dinner, including lots of veggies and healthy fats to offset the insulin surge, before they head out.  It follows my concept of ‘crowding out’ the less nutritious foods!  A great trick for parents is to buy the Halloween candy as close as possible to the day, so you don’t have the temptation lying around the house for too long.  Or, purchase candy that you don’t like!

The day after Halloween, each of my kids pick his/her top favorites.  Then, they negotiate with me how many pieces of candy they can keep – usually around 10-20!   Then, I ‘buy’ the rest of the candy back from them.  Last year, I offered a penny a piece, which of course didn’t fly.  Instead, we agreed upon 10 cents a piece. From everyone’s perspective, it’s a win-win!  Each child used the money to buy something frivolous that we wouldn’t normal indulge (but – not more candy!)

So what do I do with the leftover candy?   I’m stuck – because I really don’t want to give it to anyone else and compromise their health.  So if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Recipe:

I love to use seasonal favorites, like pumpkin and squash in the autumn.  I made this Spicy Butternut Squash soup for dinner last night.  It was easy and delicious and only needed 3 ingredients.

Events:

Healthy Eating Lecture Series – Fall/Winter 2014

Confused about what to eat? You’re not alone. With the media touting a new super food practically each week, and thousands of tasty “food-like” products on store shelves (often with health claims), it’s hard to know what’s healthy and what’s not.

I’m partnering with The New Jersey Center for Healthy Living and fellow certified holistic health coach Diana Sabloff to bring you a new Healthy Eating Lecture Series.  We’ll debunk health myths, teach you how to really understand what’s in your food, help you discover how different foods impact your body and mind, and share fast, easy tips to improve your health – even for those constantly on the go.

Our next session, on Thursday, Oct 23rd is entitled:  What is Healthy Eating? – where we will debunk common food myths and offer common swaps that our clients, friends and family approve!
Our next Lunch and Learn in Summit is on Thursday, December 11th, so please save the date!  More details to follow in my November newsletter.

And, last but not least, we just finished another successful Healthy Eating Challenge.  My next guided program starts on January 8, 2015 – just in time to support your new year’s resolutions!

Have a happy, healthy and safe Halloween!

Yours in pure, simple wellness,

Elizabeth

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3 Comments
  • Alison
    Posted at 10:55h, 04 August Reply

    Hi Elizabeth – thanks for the awesome suggestions for halloween. I find with sugar that once I have a little its hard to stop and it is hard to be around. I’d rather just not go there just because everyone else is. I really liked the idea of the glow sticks what a fun idea.

  • Andrea Quigley
    Posted at 10:56h, 04 August Reply

    Great post Elizabeth! This is such an important and complicated subject this time of the year! I have fond memories of Trick r’ Treating as a kid myself and for sure we gorged on that candy! I don’t even think it lasted a full week in our house and it set us up for craving junk food all winter long.

    I think your glow stick and water bottle ideas are great! There’s nothing wrong with a little candy (all part of that 10%) but none of us have any business eating as much as is given out this time of year, especially since most of it is not made with high quality ingredients. Great job in teaching your kids that they can still have fun and enjoy candy in a more reasonable way!

  • Jessica
    Posted at 10:57h, 04 August Reply

    Great ideas Elizabeth! It’s hard to try to let the kids have fun while trying to keep them healthy.

    I like the glow bracelet and necklace idea.

    For my kids, we do the Switch Witch. They get to pick out some of their favorite candy and the rest goes back in their bucket onto the front porch. The Switch Witch comes by leaves them a toy in exchange for their candy. We then just dump the candy in a bag in the trash can- and don’t feel bad about wasting it.

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