Thursday, October 29, 2009

Step Away from the Pumpkin!!

Okay, I should have posted this on October 1st, but here we are staring at Halloween this weekend, so here goes! Let me repeat- "Step away from the pumpkin!" How many of us started purchasing those convenient sized Halloween candies and filling and REfilling our countertop, desk, and break room candy dishes the day they started selling them at the grocery store? I can assure you that they popped up in my office OVER a month ago (I swear they start selling Halloween candy the day school starts these days...)
Now, I always maintain that there is no "bad" food- even my tempting Reese's cups. So what's my issue? When treats and sweets are sitting out, especially in bite-sized offerings, it is very easy to fall into the habit of grabbing one or two every time you pass by. Before you know it, you've added several hundred calories per day, and you're well on your way toward gaining the 7-11 lbs that most Americans add during the holiday season. Of course, if at the same time you've added in an extra hour of aerobic activity each day, it's all a wash. BUT...remember, this is the same season when we run from one activity to the next and unfortunately many people cut back on exercise- tough combo!
So, enjoy some fun Halloween candy, but make some healthy snacks and set those out instead of the pumpkin next week. AND, don't feel the need to polish off all the candy! Homeless shelters and food pantries often welcome your extra bags of candy to pop in a sweet treat in their offerings. Did your child manage to cover the entire state on her tricks and treats? Consider a few days of feasting, then put or give away the rest. Some families invoke the Halloween witch who arrives the Friday after Halloween and replaces left-over candy with a holiday book or other non-edible treat. My "trick" is to buy only one bag of candy that I cannot resist (which I buy on Oct. 30th), and make the rest of the Halloween give-aways fun stickers, pencils, toy skeletons, etc.
BOTTOM LINE: Enjoy Halloween, dress up, play and be safe- but break the candy cycle and try some healthy fall treats instead!

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