What to Do With All That Halloween Candy

Any child successful on Halloween night hauls in a lot more candy than they should polish off any time soon.

My expertise on this topic comes less from medical school, and more from the fact that I have five kids!

Have WE got candy! What is one to do with those tempting leftovers?

We let our kids know from the start that the candy would be "rationed" out slowly.

One small candy bar, or a few hard candies or chews a day, is about 100 calories, give or take.

Most children older than 6 or so can make room for that in their daily diet, while maintaining good nutrition overall.

If you handle this right, you don't make your child feel deprived by not eating all their candy at once. Rather, the fun of Halloween goes on and on. Just slowly.

You may find yourself tempted to indulge. A bit of candy is not likely to hurt you if your overall diet is healthful and balanced. If not, then the candy may be the least of your worries anyway!

Put the extra candy in a drawer that's closed, out of view, and ideally, a bit off the "beaten path" toward the usual snacks in your home.

Be sure that getting to the Halloween candy requires a special trip, so that the candy retains its special status. It's a treat, not a regular part of anyone's diet.

I would advise against bringing the candy to work, and might even go as far as asking co-workers to avoid it, too.

At work, that candy will sit out, visible, all day, and you and everyone else is apt to eat more than you should.

If you have candy left over that you just don't want to keep, consider donating it to an area homeless shelter. True, this is not the best source of nutrition. But for someone who is actually hungry, some chocolate is better than nothing. And a little bit of pleasure is certainly good for people.

If you don't have kids of your own, you may find yourself in the same bind, because you filled your house with candy to hand out. The same basic guidelines pertain.

The new "My Pyramid" and dietary guidelines for Americans make specific allowance for "discretionary calories."

This refers to eating that is about fun, but not health. As long as you fit leftover candy into that small part of your diet, you should be able to indulge and enjoy without harm, and at least mostly guilt free!

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