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© 2017 Vancouver Dietitians

Blog & Recipes

  • by Alexandra Inman, Stephanie Dang

Tricks for Treats: How to Have a Healthy Halloween


October 31 is almost here… Halloween! Many people celebrate with scary movies, haunted houses, elaborate costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating. Candy has become such an integral part of Halloween, especially with the November 1 candy sales, that having a sugar-free Halloween can seem impossible. Here some tricks for how to enjoy the Halloween treats in moderation:

1. As much as possible, stick to your routine.

Over holidays like Halloween, it can be easy to get off track with your diet, physical activity, and self-care routines. Sometimes, feeling like you’ve overindulged in a treat can feel like such a failure that you might think “why bother having a healthy meal or going to the gym now?”. But remember to consider the big picture! Continue to schedule in time for healthy meals and snacks, exercise, and self-care. Do not restrict your meals or snacks to ‘make up for’ the calories from Halloween candy - this can lead to an unhealthy cycle of restriction/overeating. Continue with your regular meals and snacks and enjoy the Halloween treats after!

2. Be selective with your treats.

Do you want the candy bar because you are going to enjoy it, or are you just eating it because it’s Halloween? Check in with yourself prior to purchasing or consuming a treat: “is this going to be satisfying?” If the answer is no, leave it at the store or save it to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Then choose a treat for yourself that you are really going to enjoy. Maybe it’s a bar of Swiss dark chocolate, a pint of ice cream from your favourite parlour, a bottle of your favourite wine, or anything that you really enjoy!

3. If you have children, let them sort their candy after Halloween. Whatever candy is their least favourite can be given to the “Switch Witch” or donated.

Half the fun of trick-or-treating as a kid is dumping out your loot of candy to count and sort it. Part of this process could be sorting the candy into 2 or 3 piles, the pile with their ‘least favourite’ candy can then be placed in a special part of the house for the ‘Switch Witch’. That night, when the little ones are sleeping, the ‘Switch Witch’ can come and replace the candy with a fun toy, book, or puzzle. Alternatively, you could have your children donate their unwanted Halloween candy - for example, to a local children’s hospital. An extra bonus, this will eliminate 50% of the candy in your house after Halloween night!

4. Enjoy it!

Halloween night is just a drop in the bucket when compared to all of the other days of the year when you can follow a healthy lifestyle. Even if you feel like you’ve gone a little overboard with the candy or the wine, enjoy your Halloween treats and the excitement of the holiday - soon enough you’ll be back to your regular routine!