Forget haunted hayrides and spooky movies – the calories we consume during Halloween season can be downright frightful on their own! But hey, Halloween is a fun holiday that brings back happy childhood memories for many, so there’s no need to go cold turkey on the candy.
Instead, make wise choices when it comes to snacking – be deliberate on which treats you’re going for and how many you’re grabbing at a time. After all, a little discipline goes a long way!
Need help adopting some straightforward guidelines? Here are 5 clear ways to make sure you’re enjoying Halloween treats in moderation – before, during, and after October 31st!
1) Pick Wisely at the Supermarket
Sure, Fun Size candy bars may seem like an innocent indulgence, but if you’re destined for a tornado of wrappers littering your home, it’s better to pick up a ‘healthier’ option from the get-go. For simplicity’s sake, there are basically three ways to categorize Halloween candies: by calories, sugar content, or grams of fat per serving.
If calories are your main concern, it’s probably best to steer clear of Take 5 and Butterfinger bars, which typically run upwards of 100 calories for each Fun Size portion. Smarties and Sweet Tarts are nice, fat-free treats that will still get you in the Halloween spirit. And if the thought of giving up chocolate is enough to spark nightmares, swap the Junior Mints and Reese’s Pieces for Hershey’s Assorted Minis, which have only 5 grams of carbs apiece.
2) Skip Dipping Straight Out of the Bag
As with every healthy diet, portion control remains key. Instead of dipping straight into the bag as you snack, store Halloween treats in the pantry. Then, when it’s time to enjoy a little treat, pull out a small bowl or dessert plate and dish out a predetermined portion right then and there. The closer the whole bag is to your snack area, the more likely you are to keep repeating “just one more” until the bag’s empty.
3) Healthy Homemade Swaps
Some folks like to whip up homemade treats for Halloween – cue vinyl gloves filled with caramelized kettle corn. Maintaining traditions that are near and dear to your heart can be very important for emotional wellbeing and mental health. There’s no need to be the big bad witch and ditch family traditions altogether! In fact, there’s no rule that says you can’t modify those traditions to better suit your nutritional priorities. For example, instead of caramelizing your kettle corn or dousing it in cinnamon sugar, why not try an unsalted popcorn sprinkled in something a little healthier, like paprika or turmeric?
4) Make Fun Size Bars Last Longer
Another tactic for enjoying Halloween treats in moderation is to split them up and include them in healthy recipes. Have you ever tried jazzing up a nutritious banana bread with chopped up Snickers bars? Even 3-4 Fun Size chocolate bars can be enough to transform a basic bread loaf into something maddeningly delicious with every bite.
5) Sharing is Caring
Finally, if you’ve got way too many leftovers on your hands, share the wealth! Dish out surprise goody bags to friends or colleagues. Or, contact your local food pantry or community center – they’ll love a donation! Just remember, for hygiene and allergy reasons, prepackaged Halloween treats are better for donations that homemade goods.