I have great memories of Halloween as a kid. I remember one year in particular I could not wait to go outside for trick-or-treat. I was all decked out in my witch costume and I was so excited to run around my childhood neighborhood and get lots and lots of candy! My sisters and I would each fill up a huge bag and then we would go back home and check out all the candy we "scored." I remember putting all the Reese's peanut butter cups in one pile, all the lollipops in another, etc. I would try to trade all the lollipops and hard candy for chocolate. I always wanted all the chocolate! My sisters and I would trade until we were each satisfied with our loot.
My parents never let us "go to town" on all of that sugar. I remember my mom having a huge bowl that we all dumped our bags into. Our candy had to stay in the kitchen. I remember being jealous of friends who were allowed to keep their candy in their rooms. We had to ask our parents for a piece when we wanted one. Thanks mom and dad for that! I totally would have eaten it all.
I don't want to be "that mom" who doesn't allow my kids to enjoy a little candy on Halloween. I don't think a few pieces of candy on Halloween is a problem at all. I think the trouble happens the days and months after Halloween when all that candy is in the house and we eat 10+ pieces a day, right?
Here are my top 5 tips to NOT eat all the leftover Halloween candy:
1. Keep a certain number each. That's it. In our house, we are each going to keep 5 treats and then the rest are going out of the house. If a huge bowl of candy is here, we will end up eating it all. Talk to your spouse and decide on how many each of the kids can keep and how many pieces you and him are gonna "steal" from the kids!
2. Get the rest out of the house. Encourage your kids to share with family and friends. Send some with your hubby to his office. Heck, throw it away if you have to. If there is a huge bowl of candy in our house, non of us can rest if it is here. Madilyn knows it's here and asks for candy everyday. Every time I walk into the kitchen, those darn mini Reese's peanut butter cups are yelling, "You can do it. I am small. Have two!" Nope, get them out of the house.
3. Consider the "Switch Witch" paying a visit. Have you heard of the "Switch Witch"? Well, she shows up Halloween night and takes all the leftover candy and leaves healthier treats and non-food items. Last year, the "Switch Witch" came to our house and took all the leftover candy and left the girls a couple of movies and dress-up shoes. They were thrilled. I have friends who switch the candy out for cold hard cash or gift cards for the movie theater or a new shirt, etc. Depending on the age of your kiddos, there are lots of different ideas.
4. Have healthier treats available. I am a huge fan of "crowding out." If healthier and real-food treats are in the home and available, the blow of letting go of all the candy is not as dramatic. This week, consider making some real-food desserts to have ready to go when your kids (and you) are craving some sweets. Check out some ideas here. Make some peanut butter and chocolate banana "ice cream." See recipe below. I bet no one will complain. Halloween candy forgotten.
5. Stay on track with your meals and exercise. It is so easy to get lazy around the holidays and fall out of routine. My advice is to stay on track even MORE during the holidays. Get to the gym more. Eat even healthier. When you work hard towards your health and wellness goals you won't want to blow it all by eating an entire bowl of candy. The guilt afterwards is just not worth it. Enjoy the treats you decided to keep. Enjoy them, every bite. Don't let that bowl of Halloween candy bring you down. You so can do this.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana "Ice Cream"
3 ripe bananas, frozen
2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
3 teaspoons dairy free chocolate chips
water as needed
1. A few hours before (or the night before) you want to enjoy the "ice cream," freeze bananas. I peel the bananas and freeze in a plastic bag.
2. Put the bananas, peanut butter and a little bit of water in the blender. Blend until you have a smooth "ice cream" consistency.
3. Top with chocolate chips and enjoy!
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