For some, the least favorite part of Halloween is putting away the decorations. For others, it's mentally preparing for daily battles for weeks that follow being asked "Can I have some candy?".
But this year... you're gonna own this witch!
With your new habit mindset, no way are you going to let Halloween candy rule your house.
At The Habitized Life, we believe healthy habits DO include enjoying candy or treats so let's see if we inspire you and your family to add a few new healthy habits to your Halloween traditions this year.
Click on the video below to hear some of Nicole's favorite Halloween habit hacks!
Still looking for more inspiration? See if these twists on Halloween candy habits would work for your family!
🍬 Make a Filling Pregame Meal: Serve a healthy balanced meal (that includes 1 or more sources of protein) before going out to trick-or-treat avoid a huge energy spike from the sugar that's about to be eaten! Bonus for you kitchen if you can make a 1 pot meal for easier clean up! Double bonus for your whole family when parents avoid their own sugar crashes while sneaking "a piece for me" after passing out "a piece for you" to the trick-or-treaters at your house.
🍬 Boost Decision-Making Skills: While walking around during trick-or-treat, and during the binge fest that follows, try turning your usual "NO" or "You're going to regret that" statements into questions to help them navigate their own hunger cues and build trust in their ability to make healthy choices. Try questions like:
"Is your belly full and satisfied?"
"Does your tummy feel upset or yuck?"
"Maybe, is your body is telling you you've had enough?"
🍬 Decorate With It: Help kids practice self control by putting aside candy that could be used for future holiday crafts such as making gingerbread house, ornaments, etc. Setting aside a baggie or storage container of candy that can be used for a future craft project can be incentive to not just consume it now and wait to see what else they can transform it into.
🍬 Sort into Buckets: Teaching kids how food (even candy!) can be used for something other than going into their bellies is one habit that can help avoid guilt around eating or holding on to foods "just because it was free". Immediately after the candy gets dumped out on the floor (whhhyyy?), put out a series of buckets or storage bags and sort the candy into categories like:
Favorites - candy to claim and keep for themselves
Share - candy to share or trade with family, friends, etc.
Experiments - candy to test to see if floats, changes color, etc.
Bake - candy that could be used in baking cookies or brownies
Trash - candy that is accidentally opened or 100% not interested in
🍬 Freeze for Holiday Countdowns: Does your family have traditions around advent calendars? Depending on how many children you have, ask your child (ren) to select a special set of candies that can be used as a surprise for the number of candies you use for your advent calendars. Freezing these candies helps spread out the excitement and shows kids that delaying when they eat the candy is not the same as throwing away candy.
🍬 It's Your Choice!: One of the best ways to encourage independent decision-making and good choices is to let your kiddo choose the 1 or 2 pieces candy of they want to eat. If your child melts down when given the chance to pick from the entire bucket of candy, consider breaking the available choices into smaller bins like:
chocolate candies and colorful candies
3 bite candies and 1 single bite candies
anytime treats and "dinner only" treats (and you could even add non-Halloween candy to these bins all year long)
🍬 Create a buy-back or reward systems: Our habit trackers are a creative tool to incorporate a weekly treat into but we'd encourage you to use it as a reward for active or nutritious habits related to physical activity, eating the rainbow, or drinking ounces of water. For example, if you're using the Spark Curiosity All About Eat The Rainbow Journal and your kiddo eats all the colors of the rainbow that day or hits the water goal, then a candy of choice can be a totally reasonable way to celebrate!
Still feeling a little hesitant about introducing new habits this Halloween? Try finding a mantra to say to yourself before, during, and after talking with your family and implementing the habit(s).
I speak with confidence and consistency.
I am a model for healthy boundaries.
I am my problem and my solution.
I am planting a seed for a peaceful relationship with food.
I am patient with my/our practice in improving my/our health.
Stay focused on the progress ahead and change with come. If you give any of these habit hacks a try, send us an email and let us know how it went!