Treats are automatically associated with Halloween, but this year, our family has a plan to have a fulfilling, but not excessive night. In our house, we spread out all the candy at the end of trick or treating and then only keep the kinds we like the most. We allow our son to have 2-3 pieces on the night of Halloween and then 1-2 pieces each night following (until it gets old or he forgets about it). We take candy that is not our favorite somewhere to share, or throw it away. After all, who hasn’t given in to a treat you don’t really like just because it’s there.
It’s also very important to make sure kids eat a healthy dinner BEFORE going out trick or treating, otherwise you can count on your child’s dinner to be a candy casserole. Make sure to include extra veggies and fruits on the menu for the day, and water, or other calorie free beverages only to drink.
Another great plan is to use your Halloween party or event as an opportunity for extra activity. Have active party games, or walk house to house to trick or treat instead of driving (make sure to always follow safety recommendations and travel as a group).
Here are some suggestions for how to burn off the number of calories in a 1 ounce serving of the top 6 candies from our Facebook Halloween poll:
- Walk for 39 minutes to burn 142 calories in the top choice, M&Ms.
- Run for 16 minutes to burn 138 calories in #2 Kit Kats.
- Swim for 12 minutes to burn 142 calories in #3 Reese’s.
- Cycle for 18 minutes to burn 115 calories in #4 Skittles.
- Play basketball for 17 minutes to burn 138 calories in #5 Hershey’s.
- Dance for 20 minutes to burn 99 calories in #6 Sour Patch Kids.
Have a safe and healthy Halloween!
Kelly Fisher is an outpatient dietitian at Cook Children’s Medical Center.