To support your wellness (health and safety) on this spooky day of excitement and sweets, we have put together a list of some important things to consider before going Trick-or-Treating.
Having 2 kids, Dr. Sinno wishes to help make your and your childrens’ Halloween experience even more enjoyable with these suggestions.
1. Minimize the percentage of your diet that the candy makes up
Proper nutrition is a significant element of health. The smaller the portion of your food intake that the candy makes up, the less likely it will negatively impact your health.
You can think of the flow of food and water into your body as a river, and candy like a sort of pollution. The more candy you put into your body, the more ‘polluted’ the river. However, a candy here and there in a wholesome nutritious diet is less harmful than large portions and frequent intakes. Here are some more specific tips on how to moderate your intake:
- Practice portion control – try to set a limit of the amount of candy that are eaten in one sitting, or in one day. For example, you can set a limit of 1-3 candies/day, and eat healthy whole foods the rest of the day. You will likely feel a lot better by setting this limit!
- Eat real food before the candy – eating a wholesome meal, before trick or treating or eating the candy collected can help reduce cravings and overeating candy as a result of hunger. You can also freeze the candy so it takes longer to eat. Ideally your meals should be plant-based (mostly veggies), and contain protein and fiber that will help regulate blood sugar levels, which can spike after eating candy.
- Don’t feel obliged to eat all the candy you collected – Especially if you have generous neighbours and ambitious children, you could collect with enough candy to last all year! Just because you have the candy available, it doesn’t mean you have to eat all of it. Set boundaries for how much you allow yourself or your children to eat, and if you feel tempted, store the candy out of sight/reach to help you achieve these restrictions. Your body will thank you with better health! Consider collecting only one candy per house visited – If you think it will be difficult to reduce your intake of candy through portion control, collecting less candy per house may help you achieve more physical activity, see more decorated houses, and decrease how many candies will be asking to be eaten once you come home.
2. Stay active
Candy, often with a high sugar and fat content, can significantly spike your blood sugar levels, increase levels of unhealthy fats in the body that can lead to atherosclerosis, and add hundreds of extra (empty) calories to your diet. Exercise and keeping active helps lessen the negative impacts these treats have on the body, though it does not nullify them. Remember – just because one looks fit on the outside, it does not guarantee a healthy bodily system.
3. Brush and floss your teeth!
Increasing intake of sugary foods can increases chances of tooth decay. By brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, and after eating sweets, you reduce the amount of food (sugars) that the bacteria in your mouth have to feed on, which helps prevent them from eroding your teeth as well.
1. Inspect all candy before considering eating it - In Canada, there have been cases of children finding hazardous items like razors in chocolate bars, a fact that begs parents to ensure to inform children to inspect their candies thoroughly before eating them. Dispose of any unwrapped candy, or candies with broken wrappers, and if the candy is soft, consider breaking it up to check its contents.
2. Opt for safe costumes - You can ensure maximal safety by choosing costumes that have high visibility at night, such as bright colours and reflective fabrics (that you can add onto the costume as well), reducing dragging fabrics that may cause a child to trip, opting for non-toxic face paint as opposed to masks which can reduce how well the child sees at night, and
3. Keep in contact and in sight - If you are going trick-or-treating with your children and perhaps their friends, be sure that they are all in sight and keeping a similar pace, and emphasize this for older children who may be going candy collecting without you. Have at least one child keep a cell phone handy so they and you are able to be contacted.
We hope you found these tips useful.
Please let us know what you think and if you have any questions!
To your wellness,