Halloween is approaching! For many, the Halloween candy rush can trigger sugar-filled snacking and sweetness overload. Did you know, the average child consumes about 3 cups (144 tsps) of sugar during the holiday (Yikes!). This can lead to brain fog, hyperactivity, tooth decay, decreased energy, increased weight, and high cholesterol. No thank you! The current recommendation suggests limiting added sugars to 100 calories or 6 tsps/day for women and children and 150 calories or 9 tsps/day for men (not a lot!). Keep reading to see just how easy this adds up and our tips on how to trick and treat your cravings!
Sugar content of some popular Halloween candies:
- 1 fun size Snickers = 1.5 teaspoons/8 grams of sugar
- 1 mini-package of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers = 1.5 teaspoons/8 grams of sugar
- 1 fun size Skittles = 2.25 teaspoons/11 grams of sugar
- 3 min Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups = 2.75 teaspoons/14 grams of sugar
- 6 Starburst candies = 3.25 teaspoons/16 grams of sugar
Halloween happens once a year and while we encourage you to enjoy the fun, we also recommend going in with a plan. Here are our favorite tips to help you, and your family, enjoy Halloween more healthfully.
- Eat a nourishing meal prior to trick or treating. Leaving the house satisfied may decrease over-eating tendencies and limit eating extra candy and sugar. Viewing Halloween candy as “dinner” will not provide proper nutrition or leave us feeling full.
- Set a daily limit. Before Halloween, create a daily candy consumption goal and stick to it! 3 pieces a day is a great place to start. Restriction may be associated with delayed overeating, so enjoying favorite candy in moderation may help promote a healthy relationship with sweets.
- Don’t display candy on kitchen counters or in clear jars. The more we see sweets, the more our brain wants them. Consider freezing favorite candy pieces, or storing them in opaque containers. Out of sight, out of mind!
- Once Halloween is over, keep a few favorite candies and consider donating the rest! Our families have donated to homeless shelters, fire stations, elderly homes and even some dentists pay you $1 per pound! If you have kids, use excess candy in arts and crafts projects!
- Get moving! Exercise helps to stabilize blood sugar after eating. Walk around safe communities on Halloween night instead of driving and get those steps in!