Six Simple Tips for a Healthier Halloween
Sure, it’s only one night of the year—but those unavoidable bags of “fun-size” candy bars are in the stores already, and leftover treats can stretch temptation deep into November. But fear not. With just a little bit of advance planning, these six simple tips can help you keep the kids’ big night out from turning into a Halloween backslide.
1. Move More. It’s one of the main pillars of the Jenny philosophy, and it’s especially applicable this time of year. The summer heat has moved on, and you should, too! With crisp fall breezes and weeks until daylight savings darkens your doorstep, now is the perfect time for outdoor exercise. Once the neighborhood Halloween decorations go up, you can get the whole gang into it by scheduling a Saturday evening “Spook Walk”, followed by a fun family scary movie night.
2. Worth the Weight. When you get home from the pumpkin patch, put your purchase on the scale. Now pick it up and really feel that weight. It’s heavy, right? How does the weight of the pumpkin compare to the amount of the weight you’ve lost thus far? It can be hard to believe you were carrying around those extra pounds—and taking a minute to truly acknowledge the progress you’ve made can make it easier to stay motivated in the face of seasonal temptations.
3. Go Elsewhere. It’s easy to justify buying a bunch of candy if you plan to be at home passing it out to the local kids… but it’s just as easy to avoid the purchase altogether by spending the evening at a neighbor’s house. Even if you enjoy a piece or two on the big night, you won’t have leftovers in the cupboard tempting you for weeks afterwards. And if you DO indulge, don’t toss the wrappers right away! Bite-size candies add up quickly, and counting the wrappers can help keep you on track.
4. Out of Sight. If you DO decide to buy candy, there’s no reason to buy it a month early. Wait until a day or two before Halloween, then, consider buying varieties that you don’t like. One to two bags should be enough to satisfy a whole evening’s worth of costumed cuties, but if you’re worried about running out, get some small, inexpensive toys as backup. And by all means, don’t keep goodies in plain sight! They’ll be less tempting stashed away in a cupboard or drawer.
5. Season’s Eatings. Even though Halloween is known for its sweeter offerings, this time of year also signals the availability of some amazingly satisfying winter vegetables—including carrots, beets, acorn and butternut squashes and (you guessed it) pumpkin. It’s a great time to seek out healthy recipes using these seasonal ingredients; even though many winter veggies are higher in starches and sugars, they’re also loaded with fiber and nutrients… and always a better option than candy.
6. Switch Witch. Tempted by the kid’s stash? Here’s something we wish we’d though of years ago: the Switch Witch. Who’s this, you ask? The Switch Witch is a friendly, totally-not-scary spirit who sneaks into kids’ rooms a day or two after Halloween, replacing every last morsel of their sugary Halloween haul with one reasonably priced toy. Now that’s a good trade! She usually leaves a funny note, and she ALWAYS knows exactly what kids (and parents) want most.