The sun is shining but pumpkins are in season. Halloween has taken hold in Australia which gets a big boo from me. I’m not about to get on my broomstick and take all the fun out of this terrifying tradition though. Read on for my balanced advice about the scariest day of the year.
The trick with Halloween is to be smart about your food choices. Chocolate that contains nuts, coconut or dried fruit is better than straight lollies. Select a fun sized Bounty rather than a Cadbury family block. Set the trend by handing out smaller portions yourself. Take time to evaluate your favourite treats too. You don’t have to scoff everything that comes your way.
Homemade treats are always better. You can control the sugar content and avoid additives and preservatives. Baking your own chocolate cupcakes or fudge is far better than store bought. You can always create treats out of foods like fruit. Boonanas are made by simply dunking a banana in yoghurt and then coconut. Then use melted dark chocolate to make a face.
Pick the best of the worst treats. Always choose dark chocolate over milk or white. Lindt, Pana or Loving Earth dark chocolate are good choices. Nestle Mint Pattie, Cadbury Old Gold Roast Almond and Cadbury Freddo in the treat size are healthier selections. Sour lollies can be very acidic so ensure you brush your teeth and drink plenty of water to remove sugar and acid from your pearly whites.
Create Halloween memories and traditions that involve more than just sugar. Decorate your home or a pumpkin. Throw a party where you can eat, drink and be scary. In Australia the weather is warm so host a BBQ and enjoy walking and trick or treating while the sun is out. Keep hydrated alongside your partying too. This will fill you up and help kerb any overeating.
There are heaps of treats now available that can be enjoyed alongside chocolates and lollies. Stickers, tattoos, glow sticks and costumes can all create a diversion from eating. You’d be amazed how many children choose a toy over a lolly when given the option. There are also plenty of games available to buy or you can create your own.
Do your lolly shopping on the day of Halloween rather than stocking up from September when devilish treats appear. Take regular spells from dipping into chocolate and replace it with another form of treat such as a drink, dance or chat with a friend. Give yourself a dollar for every treat you resist and keep a check on your hunger cues.
The sheer volume of treats after Halloween can be a pain in the neck. If you have grave concerns about the amount of sugar you or your children have consumed, then try putting them in piles according to favourites. The ones you’re not so keen on you can donate to a shelter or put away out of sight for another time.
A restrictive mentality during Halloween creates fear and anxiety. Young people who have treats restricted will load up on these forbidden foods regardless of whether they’re hungry or not. Eating treats then becomes about guilty pleasure, rebellion and pushing boundaries. It’s healthier to enjoy one day of lollies rather than create long-lasting negative consequences.
It’s only one day of the year so don’t be frightened to relax and enjoy it. My advice is to remove the stress, creep it real and have a ghould time with friends and family. I hope your Halloween is spooktacular!