Sugar makes you fat, so avoiding foods that create high blood sugar such as Halloween candy and cookies, potatoes, white rice, sweetened cereal, soda and white bread, will decrease fat production and use up fat stores more effectively.
Exercise, particularly walking, helps utilize fat as a fuel. Fat is a very concentrated fuel source and needs lots of oxygen to break it down. Trick-or-Treating can be good exercise for you and your kids. Walking one mile, no matter how fast you go, burns 100 calories. A pound of fat produces 3500 calories. So you can burn off a pound of fat in 17.5 miles of walking. Walking 2 miles per day, you can lose a pound of fat in about 9 days.
Eating the right foods can also minimize excess fat storage and unhealthy food cravings. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated: “In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.” This might be a good time to add a few non-candy items to the kiddies’ treat bags to help reduce the temptation to pig-out on sweets.
If you do choose to give out candy, choose non-chocolate varieties with fewer calories like hard candies or licorice. Try raisins, pretzels, juice boxes, mini water bottles, plain cookies and crackers, popcorn and low fat granola or cereal bars.
A trip to the party store can yield numerous non-food items that kids love. Look for small inexpensive gadgets and things kids collect such as pencils, rubber balls, erasers, small toys like ghosts, goblins, witches, or maybe waxed lips, glow sticks, stickers, key chains, bubbles and art supplies like chalk, coloring books and crayons.
Making some changes on this fun holiday might lead to better health habits all year long.