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Healthy Halloween? I think it might just be an oxymoron! To my kids, nothing says the holiday like trick-or-treating (aka begging neighbors for candy) on Halloween night. So what is a mom to do to try to keep my family on track for a healthier celebration without being a total (sugar) buzz-kill?

Here are a few tips that you might try this season: 

  1. Don’t buy the candy that you are going to give away until the last minute, so you and your kids are not tempted to open and eat the bag of candy (and have to buy more). 
  2. Eat a healthy meal before you go out trick-or-treating.  When the kids are satiated they will (hopefully) ask for fewer treats from their bag. 
  3. Pack a healthy snack. I tell my kids that they are not allowed to eat from their trick-or-treating spoils until we get home and can check it – but I will stash a granola bar in my pocket in case they get hungry. 
  4. Limit the amount of time you are out trick-or-treating. When you limit the amount of time, you also limit the amount of treats they will gather. 
  5. When we arrive home, my kids pick out their favorite candies and then put the rest in the bucket of the treats that we are giving AWAY from our house. 
  6. If we don’t give away all the candy that we don’t want on Halloween night, we take it to the nearby hospital, senior living center or dentist (yes, there is a dentist by us that collects left-over Halloween candy and sends it to the troops). Also, LiveWell Colorado is hosting a Candy Swap this year on Nov. 2 from 11am – 1pm in Denver and Nov. 3 from 10am – 1pm in Lone Tree where families can exchange candy for healthy foods and giveaways. 
  7. At the Halloween party, put a piece of gum in your mouth before you enter. When you already have that minty fresh breath, it may delay you putting food in your mouth.