There are 36 million children in the U.S. between the age of 5 and 13, who are considered the prime trick-or-treating age. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn is sold annually, and 90 percent of American parents admit to eating candy from their child's trick-or-treat bags.
If you are a parent of a young child, it's a fun time. If you're creative, your child's costume is more elaborate each year. You prepare your trick-or-treat route and those who will share in the fun with you. You hope for a beautiful day to enjoy trick-or-treating for more than just one reason -- mostly so your child's costume can be worn proudly and seen by others. When Oct.31 arrives, you are well prepared for the festivities.
What about your well-being on Halloween? Have you thought about having the abundance of candy in your home days before the holiday and many days after? Is there a plan in place for you? If not, use these five simple Halloween strategies to make one:
Halloween Strategy #1: Two months prior to Halloween, the candy is on the shelves in the store. Leave it there.
Purchase Halloween candy the day of, or the day before, Oct. 31. The yearly holiday weight gain begins with this holiday because sugar can easily take over. The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave.
Halloween Strategy #2: As you trick-or-treat with your little ones, add extra steps.
For your well-being and theirs, take as many steps as possible. If you are walking through neighborhoods, walk up and down driveways with your child. If you are in a building or local mall, walk one side of the corridor, then walk back and do the other. Think about how you can add steps into the festivities.
Halloween Strategy #3: Eat food that will nourish you all day.
Plan and eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch consisting of protein with fruits and/or vegetables. By ensuring that your nutritional needs are met, your desire to eat sweets will be diminished. Have a very simple, healthy meal planned for dinner.
Halloween Strategy #4: Trick-or-Treat in high heels.
Do whatever it takes to make you feel wonderful while faced with the candy challenges. I'm not suggesting you literally wear high heels, although high heels worked for me when my children were small and we were trick-or-treating. The high heels reminded me that an overload of sugar would make me feel horrible, and they reminded me that I wanted to feel amazing during and after the holiday. Do what works for you. As stated in Body, Mind, & Mouth, "When you feel sloppy, you eat sloppy."
Halloween Strategy #5: Leftover candy will either go to waste or to your waist.
You can compromise with your children about which candy they will keep and which ones they will dispose of. Donate all unwanted treats to a local food pantry, homeless shelter, or soup kitchen. Just find a way to get them out of your home. The value in the candy was in the enjoyment of trick-or-treating.
Keep the fun in the holiday. Make Halloween an opportunity to enjoy the festivities. Strengthen your control to set you in the right direction for smart eating during the entire holiday season. This is the start needed to continue into the heart of the holiday season, so you will be able to awake on New Year's Day feeling empowered.