Halloween treats that you won’t be frightened to feed to your kids! Chef Jill Houk of Centered Chef Food Studios will share fun recipes you and your family make together. www.centeredchef.com
Surviving Halloween—Tips and Recipes
It’s the time of year when kids (and adults) begin over-indulging on sweet treats. The holidays, starting with Halloween and going through New Year’s, are prime times to eat candy, cookies and other empty calories. How can you reduce your children’s (and your) sugar consumption without becoming a monster? Here are some tips and recipes so that everyone has a sweet Halloween without going into sugar overload.
Halloween Trick or Treating
Create a trick or treating game plan that has limits. By setting a limit for the amount of time or the area that your child can trick or treat, you are limiting his or her “haul” of goodies. Your child is unlikely to notice that you are setting limits strictly to reduce candy intake, but will just be overjoyed about trick or treating in general. Also, by setting to limits and having your child agree before you set out on your escapades, you are less likely to experience resistance when you stick to your limits.
Ensure your child takes only one treat at each home. Many families will give out more than one piece of candy. In this case, you are flirting with disaster—because your child may double or triple his booty of candy. Tell your child that one piece is sufficient. This way, your child also learns moderation. Likewise, buy less candy per year and hand out only one treat per child to set a good example.
Make sure your child has a healthy snack before going out to collect candy. Feed kids a light lunch or afternoon snack of healthy protein, produce and whole grains and he or she will be full enough to avoid snacking on candy while trick or treating. If your child becomes hungry on the way, either head back home for a healthy snack, or bring a healthy snack to eat on the road.
Set limits for how many pieces of candy your child can eat per day. Two to three pieces of Halloween candy is enough to satisfy most kids without adding too many calories, and is a good pace for getting rid of Halloween candy by Thanksgiving.
Create an expiration date for candy. By limiting how long candy is in your home, you can control how much your child eats, as well. My rule of thumb is Thanksgiving. By then, most children will have consumed the candy they like the best, and are down to the dregs. This way, you also avoid doubling up on treats. For example, your child will not be eating Halloween candy with pumpkin pie, chocolate Hannukah gelt or candy canes.
Keep the candy out of sight. By keeping the candy in a closet, you force a situation whereby your child must ask for it. Out of sight is often out of mind, and you may find that your child forgets about the candy one or two days.
Buy candy back. If your child has received an unusually large haul of candy, consider buying it back at the same price it would take to buy the candy from the store in the first place. This way, your child can save to money to buy games, stickers, novelty clothing or video games.
Make healthy alternatives fun and delicious. Create tasty healthy snacks like popcorn trail mix, which is chock full of vitamins and fiber, with a sweet kick. Or give regular foods Halloween-type names to make them fun and interesting. For example, to encourage your child to eat whole-grain spaghetti, call it “blood and guts” or something seasonally creepy.
Mix candy in with healthy foods. For example, melt caramels or chocolate candies and serve as a topping for strawberries and apples. Or make the banana “ice cream” and serve a scoop with one fun-sized candy bar.