For many families the week after Halloween can be frightful as kids have accumulated a giant mountain of candy waiting to be consumed.
GIANT nutritionist Charlotte Scheid says the first thing you can do to tackle that issue is the classic “pick and pour.”
“You want to take your Halloween bag, pour it wherever, then really give your kids the option to choose the candy they don’t want,” Scheid said. “So they can really save the candy they want then donate or share the candy they do not want.”
When it comes to the candy kids are willing to part with, you can take it into work, share it with relatives or donate it to an organization. Treats for Troops and Operation Shoebox both accept candy donations. You can also check with your local homeless shelters and food pantries.
As for the candy they do want to keep, Scheid says to encourage them to have one or two treats per day, preferrably with a meal or snack. You can also talk to your kids about using the candy for recipes to make together as a family.
For example, you can put Reese’s peanut butter cups or Hershey’s bars into a crockpot and make chocolate fondue. Dip fruits such as apples, pears and strawberries into it, then decorate it with nuts, sprinkles or unsweetened coconut flakes.
“You’re pairing the candy with a more nutrient dense food, which is the fruit, which gives you vitamins and minerals and fiber so that your children aren’t just eating the candy by itself, but you’re pairing it with a more nutrient dense food,” Scheid said.
If your kids have a ton of M&M’s, you can use them to create a healthy fall trail mix with pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds and craisins. It’s a great source of protein and healthy fats. You can also put the trail mix into a mason jar and gift it during the upcoming holiday season. See the recipe below.
Scheid says you should avoid labeling candy as “bad” or make kids feel like they are being restricted. She says that will often backfire and make them crave it more. She says if you offer kids a couple pieces a day, chances are good they will either forget about it or lose interest in it over time.
Healthy Fall Trail Mix:
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup any M&M Halloween candy
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp sale (if nuts are unsalted)