I like the fall season. For me it signals the end of our 100 degree plus temperatures and the enjoyment of being outside again. Fall also signifies the start of the holiday season, beginning with one of my favorites…Halloween!

I’m especially excited about Halloween this year as there is no football game or marching band contest occurring on that day so I actually get to go Trick-or-Treating with my daughter! We will have new challenges this year with the booty collected from going door-to-door. My daughter is now in the Color Guard at her high school and their director strongly encourages healthy eating and limiting junk food and sugar consumption. Junk food and sugar do provide quick energy but that energy is very short lived. Sugar gets into our system very quickly; we feel great and have increased energy. Sugar also is burned very quickly and when that energy is consumed, tends to leave us feeling even more tired and grumpy and sometimes even feeling sick.

This is a great learning opportunity for teaching portion control for you and your little ghosts and goblins. So how do we incorporate enjoyment of a great holiday tradition and all that candy with over consumption of those awesome treats and maintaining good dietary intake?

  • By all means enjoy the holiday. Trick-or-Treating is just as much fun for me as it is for my children and I’m not sure who looks forward to the treat gathering more…my children or me.
  • It is ok to indulge on occasion, but not every day. I enjoy sampling the treats just as much as my kids. There are some treat choices that I get to only sample once a year.
  • Portion control is the key. As our Color Guard director teaches his students, it is not so much eating a treat or two on a daily basis that can affect your performance, but the amount that is consumed at each sitting which tends to have a negative effect on performance and endurance.
  • Try having you and your children put appropriate portions is a small sealable plastic bag. Allow them to make the choices and count the pieces.

So what does one do with all the left-over goodies?

  • When interest is lost, take left-over treats to the office. My kids generally tend to lose interest in it in about a week. Those goodies not chosen to be consumed show up in my office for anyone to enjoy.
  • “Recycle” your candy. This is what our Color Guard instructor does so some of these goodies end up in the stocking for Christmas.
  • Use chopped pieces of candy in cookies for the holidays.
  • Donate left over candy to the troops overseas or to churches.
  • Get creative and crafty and make garlands, wreaths and other crafts or ornaments for the winter holidays.
  • Use your left over candy to decorate gingerbread houses.

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