Halloween is one of the most anticipated times of the year, especially for those of us who have a penchant for sweet treats. While some indulgence is to be expected, you don't have to write the day off as a loss in the health department. If you want to enjoy the spooktacular festivities without blowing the family diet to smithereens, below are some helpful tips you can use to have a shockingly healthy Halloween.
1. Work Out in the Morning
With all of the sugar-infested fare that's about to flood your home, it's a good idea to give your metabolism a head start by working out first thing in the morning. Try starting the day with a 30-minute cardio workout such as jogging or brisk walking, so that you can rev up your calorie-burning engine and boost your mood to prepare for the day's festivities.
2. Practice "Productive Procrastination"
If you want to avoid setting the stage for an unintentional candy binge, put off purchasing any Halloween candy until trick-or-treating day. This will keep you from casually dipping into the candy stash (more than likely several times) before it's time to dole out the goods.
3. Feed the Kids a Healthy Meal Before They Go Trick-or-Treating
Let's face it--the kiddos are going to score a sizable haul of sweet treats, so you should make the most of whatever opportunity you can to put some decent nutrition in their system before they head out the door. Try a protein-rich meal with sides of veggies and/or fruit in order to help them feel nice and full before their candy-hunting excursion; this will curb any temptations to sneak candy from their stockpile while they're making their rounds.
4. Establish Candy Consumption Rules Ahead of Time
There are several ways that you can go about this, but the bottom line is that you need to establish some clearly defined rules as to how much candy your kids can eat after the trick-or-treating is done. For example, you can give them the option to splurge on Halloween night only but have no candy afterwards, or you can ration out the candy at a certain number of pieces per day for the next week or two.
Be sure to let them know that their candy eating times will only be after meals, and never first thing in the morning or right before bedtime at night. Sit down and discuss all of these details with your kids before trick-or-treating time, and come up with a plan that everyone agrees on so that there are no unpleasant surprises once the candy is on-hand.
5. Once Halloween is Over, Keep the Stash Out of Sight
There's a lot of truth to the phrase "out of sight, out of mind," and this definitely holds true when it comes to younger kids. After you've agreed upon a candy ration, keep the stash in a closed cabinet, on top of the refrigerator, or somewhere else where it won't be "on display" for the kids to plainly see. This will save you from a lot of unnecessary candy negotiations, and it can also help you avoid being tempted to snack on candy throughout the day.
While it's true that most people wouldn't associate Halloween with health, these two ideas don't have to be mutually exclusive. Keep the above tips in mind to infuse your Halloween with some health-friendly practices, so that you can fully enjoy the tricks and treats of this ghoulishly delightful celebration!