What To Do With All That Candy

Posted by: Lauren Marciszyn

The day after Halloween can be a challenging one for adults who like to maintain a nutritious lifestyle. You may be wondering: Is there such a thing as a healthy Halloween?

The answer is yes.

Jack-o-Lantern bucket with candy spilling out of it.

©iStock.com/ jenifoto 

Here are some tricks for keeping those treats in check at your YMCA or home:

1. Start with a conversation with your team or family. Understanding the impact of sugar on health, mood and behavior is an important learning moment so that candy limits can be placed without sounding like the Grinch who stole Halloween. Brainstorm some alternative ways to celebrate the holiday that don’t revolve around sugar intake.

2. Offer to be a drop-off location for Candy Buybacks. Some dentist offices accept leftover Halloween candy, which they ship to troops overseas in exchange for sugar-free treats and sometimes, cash. You can find a participating dentist here.

3. Swap sweets for treats! Invite children to separate their candy into those they want to keep and the reminder that they are willing to swap for a non-food alternative such as:

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Fake fangs
  • Spider rings
  • Themed pens and pencils
  • Glow sticks
  • Pop-up toys
  • Bouncy balls
  • Flashlights (to promote safety)
  • Pedometers (to inspire family walking challenges)

4. Avoid bringing candy to work to support co-workers’ healthy habits. Instead, freeze and recycle candies such as M&M’s, peanut butter cups, candy bars, etc. and use them to create trail mix, bake or top ice cream sundaes on special occasions.

Looking for more tips?

For more tips on how to create a healthy environment at home or work, and to learn more about the impact of sugar on children, reach out to me on Twitter!


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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.