I was at a local wholesale club this weekend, and without thinking, threw two giant-sized bags of candy in my shopping cart.
I pushed my cart down the aisle for a bit, then turned around and put the candy back.
We live 800 feet off the road and haven't gotten trick-or-treaters in years. Let's be honest: I would have been purchasing pounds and pounds of sugary goodies for the sole purpose of needlessly stuffing my face and providing my family with candy we don't need.
The American Heart Association put out a press release recently reminding us that childhood obesity is at an all-time high, with more than a third of kids and adolescents classified as obese. And, whether you're obese or not, excessive consumption of sugary foods has wide-reaching adverse health impacts.
The AHA offered these tips for a "healthier Halloween" this year:
- Remember to have a healthy meal BEFORE you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.
- Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!
- Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100 percent juice juice-boxes, snack sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, or coupons to local frozen yogurt stores. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
- Find the right sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillow case method.
And, here are the Heart Association's tips for dealing with the candy after Halloween night:
- Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery stores after Halloween.
- Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for 5 days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts, or celery.
- “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at a local park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
- Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients so be on the lookout for that option!
Do you use any of these tips? Have some of your own you'd like to share with us? Tell us in the comments.