Back to Blog

Halloween: More Than Just Candy

Published on Oct. 14, 2022

If you’re watching your sugar intake or you live with diabetes, treat-heavy holidays like Halloween can feel more stressful than fun. Use our top 5 tricks and tips to enjoy the spooky season while still staying on track with your health goals.

1. Eat the best, give away the rest

Choose a few favorites from your pass-out stash and enjoy yourself! This lets you savor your favs mindfully rather than overdoing it. Then pass out the rest, donate leftovers to a worthy cause, or freeze anything you think you might enjoy periodically or use as a treat for an upcoming holiday.

Treat Trick: If you don't pass out candy, rather than purchasing a bag of fun-sized favorites, treat yourself to a regular-sized candy bar so you don’t have excess candies tempting you. Another option is to stock up on healthy snacks. 

“Keep a variety of healthy snacks around that appeal to your family,” says Munson Healthcare Community Health Coordinator Tara Rybicki, MS, RD, CDE. “This way you have other tasty and healthy alternatives to turn to.”

2. Indulge mindfully

Many people have been conditioned to think of foods as "good" or "bad." This kind of mindset can set you up for failure, especially when you attach guilt, self-criticism, and other negative feelings to what you eat.

If you struggle to enjoy a single treat, consider slow, mindful eating. Eating mindfully can help you retrain your brain to crave foods only when you’re truly hungry, feel at peace, and savor what you’re eating.

“Start by sitting down, taking a few deep breaths, checking in on your body’s hunger level,” Rybicki says. “Give the candy your full attention while you eat it. You’ll enjoy it more and you’ll likely eat less of it.”

3. Don’t eat sugar solo

It's tempting to replace a meal with candy or other sweet treats to avoid the extra calories. But it’s actually better to eat sugar with a balanced meal (think protein, veggies, and healthy fats). Adding protein and fat to your meal helps prevent blood sugar spikes – and the hunger and cravings that come with eating sugary treats. 

Think about your overall health as well. Over time, repeated spikes in blood sugar spikes can lead to or worsen conditions like insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes. Remember: There is no harm in ending your balanced lunch with a small treat from time to time.

Prediabetes: Are You at Risk?

4. Focus on the festivities

Halloween often centers around treats and sweets. But it doesn't have to be all about candy.

Instead, focus on other fun festivities like decorating, costume-wearing, and the time-honored traditions of fall time, like hayrides and carving pumpkins. Think of these activities as feel-good soul food that doesn't come with a sugar crash. 

Party trick: Bring a savory dish or appetizer that will keep you and your loved ones satiated without the added sugar. Remember to maintain balance by rounding out any treat you do decide to enjoy with some protein and a healthy fat.  

5. Make it a family affair

Eating too many sweets isn’t good for anyone – whatever your age or goals. Encourage the whole family to be mindful of their Halloween candy consumption, not just those who are monitoring their sugar intake.

Prediabetes: Prevalent AND Preventable

How much do you know about diabetes? If you assume you don’t have to worry because you feel fine or you don’t struggle with obesity, there are many more warning signs – like prediabetes. 

Prediabetes is often a precursor to developing diabetes. Honor your health this season by learning the top myths about this serious health condition – and take our prediabetes risk assessment. 

Prediabetes: Am I at Risk?

Suggested Blogs: