Long before I became a mom, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. I love the costumes, the decorations, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and the feeling of fall in the air. But the one thing that always bothers me about Halloween is the loads of candy that enter my house – the candy for the trick or treaters, the candy from the school parties and trunk or treats, and the candy my son walks around our neighborhood and collects. I feel like after Halloween we’re swimming in candy!
Looking to cut down on the slew of Halloween’s sweet treats? Here’s some tips and tricks I’m using this year to curb my family’s Halloween candy consumption:
- Party Alternatives: When I’m asked to bring food to a party I sign up for a treat that is nutritious and easy to share. String cheese is a perfect choice because you can do so many fun things with the packaging – like making ghosts and mummies. You’ll be surprised to find that kids will pick the nutrient-rich foods, especially if they are offered in an unexpected way, and it is likely they will eat one less piece of candy. An added bonus: the protein in cheese can fuel them through the rest of the day.
- Halloween Dinner: Halloween is a hectic night in my house, trying to get my space ranger out the door. My main goal is to feed him a healthy dinner before he goes out and in search of treats. We love mac and cheese in my house, and this Easy Mac and Cheesy Soup is a quick, healthy and delicious meal to fuel my kiddo at each stop in the neighborhood.
- Candy Sort: I have to admit the candy sort is one of my favorite parts of the night. I love sitting on the floor decompressing from the day talking about the memories we made trick or treating. Talk to your kiddos about how the sort will work and how they can pick their favorite candy and you will pick some of your favorite candy. I like to make sure candy is shared throughout my house, and I even take some to the office.
Recently, I took string cheese to a party. Guess how much I brought home? Zero. Zilch. Nada. The kids loved the cheese, and they got one more serving of dairy that day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three servings of dairy every day, and most Americans are falling short by at least one. So boom, an extra serving for their growing skeletons.