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It’s that time of year again. Americans spent $9.1 billion last year in Halloween candy. The average kid eats over 3 cups of sugar, about 7000 calories, from holiday treats. Though it’s an enjoyable experience, sugar is notorious for negative physical, mental and dental health effects.
The keys to successfully navigating the endless stream of sugar are moderation and mindfulness. Allow yourself to have a few pieces of your favorite candy, but sit down and really savor it. Just grabbing a handful every time you walk by the bowl will lead to trouble. Try to keep the treats out of sight, and ideally keep things portioned in small bags, not just a large bowl, to help with portion control for the adults and the kids in the house.
It is also best not to indulge in sweet treats when you’re really hungry. Ideally, eat a balanced meal and have a small helping of your favorite candy at the end of the meal. Eating sweets in isolation is more likely to lead to overindulgence and blood sugar issues.
After Halloween, check with your dentist or another local business who often take candy donations to send overseas to our military personnel. This is a great way to get the temptation out of your house and also teach your kids the importance of giving to others.
If you’re hosting a party, check out the myriad of healthy yet festive treat recipes online. Pretzel and cheese broomsticks, monster strawberries, spiders on a log and dark chocolate apples can all satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard.