Halloween is quickly approaching and if you’re like most people, you probably already have your house stocked up with candy. To me, Halloween marks the beginning of a very difficult time for most adults – yes adults…kids are governed by us!!!!! It starts off with binging on candy and works its way into Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween is the first of the ticking time bomb we all know as… THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!
These are tough times for everyone. There are parties at work, at home, family reunions, gift exchanges, and on and on and on. And everywhere you turn there are delicious, unhealthy treats just taunting us from every direction. It is very difficult to sustain a diet during these times. And often people find themselves throwing in the towel and giving up until January where they feel they can have more control.
So how do we handle these times for ourselves and our children? Here are some of the tricks I use on Halloween and I believe we can apply this throughout the holiday season.
I do let my children indulge on Candy at Halloween but I do try to take this opportunity to educate them about healthy eating habits.
- Load up on green smoothies. Breakfast is the one meal that your children will not be exposed to any candy unless its sitting on your countertop. So take advantage of the morning to even out the score. Make a healthy, generous sized smoothie for breakfast for the whole family and load up on some greens. The beauty of a smoothie is that you really aren’t limited to any recipe. You can put in there anything you want. For some examples, visit our smoothie page.
- Limit juice. I do not offer my kids juice ever but if you do give them juice with their meals – even if its organic or 100% pure juice, I would opt out of it this week. Juice has sugar, and they will be getting enough sugar throughout the day at school, parties, or trick or treating – so drinking plenty of water will be good to keep them hydrated and cleansing their little bodies.
- Replace dessert. I offer my kids a little piece of chocolate after their dinner every evening. Its either a small piece of york peppermint patty or a small piece of dark chocolate. They love it and always request it. But if they’ve been eating candy all day I will likely skip the little piece of chocolate…or if they are still asking for candy when we’re eating dinner at home, I offer them one piece of their stash instead of the chocolate. I’ve done this before after a birthday party or something and sometimes they’ll choose a lolipop instead of the chocolate, but other times they will choose their little piece of dark chocolate instead of the candy. I love those times!
- Let them indulge…but not binge. I don’t want my kids to feel that they have to eat every single piece of candy that is offered to them at that moment for fear that I am not going to let them have it again until next year! I think that process of depriving and then treating is one of the habits that gets us all in trouble with our lifestyles. So instead, I let them have their candy – a few pieces, something reasonable. And then I explain that they can’t have any more because I don’t want them to get sick. But I reassure them they can have another piece tomorrow after lunch or dinner. And I give them a couple of pieces of candy every day for a few days until gradually I disappear it and go back to their york peppermint patty.
- Talk about it. I talk to my kids about food ALL the time. I talk to them about the importance of vegetables and healthy food and how it makes our bones and muscles stronger, etc. And likewise I talk to them about candy and sugar and how it tastes good but in excess can make us gain weight and not feel so great. I talk to them about special occasions and daily life and try to teach them balance and control.
During these times we all have to make choices. Make your choices wisely and teach your kids to do that also. Don’t indulge on everything but make choices to indulge on your favorite treats. If soda is not your thing, skip the soda and drink water with your meal if you’re already eating something you don’t usually eat. Or maybe your aunt made your favorite mashed potatoes, so skip the rice and eat the potatoes. Limit your portion size. If you’re participating in a pot luck, make your contribution a delicious veggie side if you know that your family is already bringing 10 different desserts and carby side-dishes. Remember this is not a diet…this is a lifestyle. Enjoy this holiday season, but never stop
PILING ON THE GREENS!!!!!