Once trick-or-treating ends, the ritual of counting, trading and eating candy begins — and seemingly never ends — until the next big candy holiday forces your kids to move on to chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.
Shelly Frank, a registered dietician II with Cincinnati Children’s HealthWorks! program, suggests five easy and healthy ways you can manage the post-Halloween candy overload this year.
1. Avoid the fun-size trap. Don’t let the bite-size packaging fool you into thinking the calories don’t add up. You may be surprised to find out that a fun size Snickers still contains 68 calories. A Butterfinger has 92 calories. And, those cute tiny bags of Skittles pack a whopping 120 calories. You can never eat just one.
2. Give treats, not sweets. Instead of candy, offer stickers, fake tattoos, fun pencils and erasers, Silly Putty, bubbles, etc. They last longer and are calorie-free!
3. Cash in candy. Let your trick-or-treater choose up to five pieces to eat and cash in the rest. Exchange each piece of uneaten candy for a penny or a nickel, or treat them to a special outing or surprise for trading in their candy.
4. Get it out of the house. If you have leftover Halloween candy, get it out of the house the next day. Take it to work, set it aside for a community event or participate in a candy buyback program so you and your family are not tempted to snack on it.
5. Send candy to US troops. Many dentists participate in candy buyback programs. Dentists pay the children a dollar per pound or barter with other prizes. The candy swapped is sent in holiday care packages to our deployed troops. Last year, Operation Gratitude received and shipped 125 tons of candy. Several dentists in the Tri-State are accepting donations. Find a participating dentist.
HealthWorks is a family based program at the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s. The one of a kind program helps overweight children and teens — and their families — improve eating habits and become more physically active.