Halloween marks the beginning of the festive and food-centric holiday season, during which we tend to snack on too much candy, eat too much turkey, and drink too much eggnog. Here are some tips for celebrating the October holiday without sacrificing your health.
The Not-So-Sweet Side of Candy
Whether it’s chocolate, licorice, candy corn, or gummy bears, everyone seems to have a favorite candy. Contrary to what Mae West said, too much of a good thing can be horrible for your waistline and your teeth. When it comes to Halloween candy, a few simple ideas can make a big difference for you and your family.
- Wait for it. Don’t buy candy until the last few days before Halloween, and don’t start eating it until then. Retailers start displaying seasonal candy over a month before Halloween, but don’t worry—they won’t run out before the big day.
- Packaging is your friend. The added time and effort involved in opening or unwrapping a piece of candy may slow you down and help you eat less overall, as opposed to scooping handfuls of M&M’s.
- Have candy only once a day, or with meals. Dentists warn that consuming sugary foods and drinks throughout the day is especially bad for your teeth, because it promotes the growth of acid-producing bacteria over a long period of time. Prevent tooth decay by brushing after eating candy and avoiding sugar in between meals.
- Get your sleep and exercise. Candy can be a quick pick-me-up when we’re feeling tired, but the effect is short-lived and ultimately depletes us further, which can lead us right back to the candy bowl. Make sure to give your body enough rest and to recharge your energy through regular exercise. As mentioned previously on this blog, there are wonderful apps and tools to help you stay healthy.
- Pass good habits on to your kids. Trick or treating is one of the cornerstones of Halloween, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area with our mild fall weather. Place the focus on the experience, not on the candy. Establish ground rules with your children—how much candy they will be allowed to keep, how quickly they will be allowed to eat it, etc. Emphasize the other Halloween traditions such as the costumes and sense of community. Lastly, consider having your kids turn in some (or most) of their candy at a participating Silicon Valley dentist.
All of us at Menlo Partners wish you and your family a very Happy Halloween!
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