No matter what costumes people wear, everyone is a goblin when the Halloween candy comes out!

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Halloween is just around the corner! 

Last year, there was an estimated 3,870,938 children (ages 5-14) who went out trick-or-treating, and on average Canadians spent $418.8 million on candy, confectionery and snack foods at large retailers last October. Although we still spend more money on these items during the Christmas season ($478.5 million), the amount of $$$ that Canadians spend during Halloween is increasing. Have you heard about the orange Halloween trees that have been selling like crazy this year? Yes, Halloween trees are now a thing. Does that mean we will soon see ghastly creatures at the mall that you can sit on their lap and ask for your favourite Halloween candy? Maybe we won't get that extreme, but Canadians are definitely getting into the Halloween spirit.

However, this time of year can be a struggle to be around so much Halloween candy, particularly with so many bite size options of candy, chocolate and chips. If you eat a bunch of those treat sized options you can easily be over consuming on sugar, fat and calories. For example, one bite-size Kit Kat has ~70 calories, 3 grams of fat and 7 grams of sugar. Those bite size indulgences can add up fast! However, have no fear because we have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you deal with all that Halloween candy:

Tips and Tricks:

  • Buy candy closer to Halloween. If it's not in your house you will be less tempted to keep dipping into the treats leading up until Halloween.
  • Eat well. It can be pretty tempting to reach for the snacks when you are in hangry mode. If you bought Halloween candy ahead of time, plan to eat well throughout the week to limit snacking. On Halloween, make sure you remember to eat dinner before the kids start trick-or-treating so that the sweets don't become your dinner! 
  • Buy candy you don't want. You will be less tempted to eat it, but will still have candy to give out on Halloween.
  • Don't over buy. You probably have a good idea of how many kids you get in general based on previous years and can gauge how much Halloween candy you need. If you are new to the area, ask the neighbours to get a sense of the amount of kids that might show up at your door.
  • Buy non-edible items to give away. There are lots of fun options, such as stickers, Play-Doh, temporary tattoos, or glowsticks, that you can give out instead of Halloween candy. The dollar store is a great option for these kinds of items, but you might not want to wait until the last minute since they get scavenged over quite fast leading up to Halloween (and Christmas items are already getting put out). 
  • Get rid of the leftovers. It might feel like a waste, but it works! 
  • Eat it if you really want it. Don't beat yourself up. It's ok to indulge! Grab your favourite treat and savour it.

Got little ones?

  • Set a time for how long you will trick-or-treat. Get rid of the idea that your children need to stay out until their pillowcase is about to burst with candy, especially since you will most likely get rid of a lot or still have leftovers from what you purchased.
  • Sift through the Halloween candy when you get home. Sit with your children and go through the candy when you get home to decide which ones will get thrown out. Ask your children to think about which ones they would really want and would enjoy and let them pick out a few that they can eat that evening, rather than having at the pile.  
  • Make sure your children eat dinner before trick or treating. The same goes for you (as mentioned above), and it might also lessen the urge for your children to eat too much Halloween candy. 
  • Don't let those pillow cases hide under the bed. Make sure whatever Halloween candy you decided to keep is put away in a cupboard and there is a discussion about when and how much of the Halloween candy will be eaten.
  • Have a discussion. Kids should be able to enjoy all the festivities about Halloween, but they should learn to be mindful about about the amount of Halloween candy eaten. Having a discussion about how the rest of the candy will be handled is a good idea (e.g., buy back the candy, trade for non-edible items, donate to your office candy bowl).
  • Switch Witch: Similar to her sister the Tooth Fairy, she flies around on Halloween looking for piles of candy to "switch" for toys in an attempt to keep kids' teeth free from cavities for her sister. Similar to the Elf on the Shelf, there are those for or against these sort of tactics, but you need to do what works for your family!
  • Check out your local dentist. Some dentists buy candy to help promote the importance of maintaining healthy teeth.

Happy Halloween!

xo M & K

References:

Statistics Canada: https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/dai/smr08/2016/smr08_211_2016

Switch Witch: http://switch-witch.com/

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