Halloween is upon us again. Orange and red leaves, laughing children dressed in costumes, brisk weather, and candy. Sounds like a wonderful time, and it really is, however the candy that is given freely can be a problem for many of us. One would think that the human instinct to pack on the pounds for the winter season would be enough to madden all of us. Apparently, we must also endure a night of knocking on doors with our precious children and thanking the smiling greeter for plunking another sweet treat into their bulging bags. How fun!
After this ritual, we inspect the candies before consumption and the eating frenzy begins. Candy seems sweeter this time of year, as we welcome the holiday season with sugar and chocolate.
Moms and dads across America are making pledges even as you read this that they will not eat even one piece of Halloween candy, that they will not eat what is left of their children’s stash the next day. On Halloween night and over the ensuing days, moms across America will struggle with this silent promise and some may even fail. This is not an ideal way to spend your time!
The answer to this issue that will plague millions of moms and dads this year is rather simple! Do not make a promise to yourself that you do not intend to keep. The candy calls out to us. That is why it is Halloween candy, it is especially evil. It will not be ignored. We must have a better strategy!
The first thing we must do is categorize the candies. No candy is healthy, so this is purely damage control. Have an okay pile, a trash pile, and a maybe later pile. Before creating these piles, be sure to discard anything that looks to have been tampered with, poked, or opened. The best way to categorize the candy is to find out the health (for lack of a better word) content of each dandy treat. You can locate calories and other nutrition facts for many Halloween candies here.
Start your okay pile with the items that will do the least amount of damage. Most of the fun size candies will go into this pile. They pack in the calories, but it is portion control made easy. There are a few to really watch out for that are deceivingly “healthy looking”. Twizzlers strawberry twists for example are almost 300 calories for 2 small twists. OUCH!
That brings me to the next pile. This is the place for hard candies, gum, and mints. These are great to stick in your pocket or purse for a quick snack on the go. The maybe later pile should last quite some time since this is the less desirable pile of the two keep piles.
Now you can create the no way pile. Anything that has not made it to the other piles is automatically in this one. Take another look at the first and second piles and re-evaluate the items for their worth to you. If they are just not worth it, chuck them. Many people make a fatal mistake here and SAVE the no way pile. Do not do this. You may have great intentions to donate the candy or send it to your child’s school for the teacher to hand out as awards, but if you do this you may very well eat this pile in one fell swoop. As hard as it may be, throw it away NOW!
Now that you have your categories, explain to your children what they are. The okay pile is for a daily snack until it is gone. They can choose to eat from this pile anytime as long as they limit it to one a day. The maybe later pile can go into a large candy dish for family consumption as craved.
Now the really hard part moms and dads. You can only eat from the maybe later pile. You shall not eat anything from the okay stash unless it is offered to you (without your prodding) by the candy holder. I know, the candy whispers sweet nothings into your ear while the kids are at school, but you must obey the rules. There, that was easy!
Next challenge…..Pumpkin pies and Thanksgiving feasts.