Top 3 Halloween Dos for Kids and Adults

By Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD

With Halloween around the corner, it’s safe to assume that the kiddos will be hankering for something other than tomatoes come dinner time. For kids, Halloween means sugar rushes, candy binges, and stashes of the sweet stuff. And often times, it can cause sugar cravings and diet disasters for Mom or Dad as well.

So—how do you keep Halloween treats aligned with your kids’ sugar allotment and maintain your health goals? Check out the below tips!

Halloween Dos for Your Kids

  • Eat before you treat: This may sound like a no-brainer, but many youngsters don’t eat a balanced dinner before hitting homes in search of the sweet stuff. If this is the case, hello sugar rush for sure! To help beat the candy attack, make sure that your kids eat dinner, but also that dinner includes a protein food (think turkey, chicken, fish, beans, steak) and a high-fiber food (think whole grains, fruit, veggies). An example: whole-grain breaded chicken tenderloins with roasted carrots.
  • Put a limit on it: To get kids in the right mindset, let them know beforehand that there will be a limit on Halloween and post-Halloween candy eating. Structure here is good as well as “goal” setting. The “limit numbers” should ideally be negotiated with you and the kids, so they feel as if you’re on the same team. Generally, seven to ten (maximum) of mini-candy pieces on Halloween and two to three pieces thereafter, suffices. Helping with these efforts, is the simple act of keeping candy out of sight after Halloween. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Have limits, but not restrictions: Kids (and folks in general, actually) want what they can’t have. If candy becomes a forbidden food, once they have it, they’re more likely to binge. Plus, it may help foster an unhealthy relationship with food. Setting limits, as noted above, is a good idea, but severe restrictions often backfire.

Halloween Dos for Adults

  • Remove the supersize surprise:  Supersized junk food often leads to supersized waistlines. Buy enough candy only for the night of Halloween. Simply having the sugar on-hand makes it more likely that you’ll give in. If you do have extras, get rid of it or store the sweet stuff in opaque containers that are out of sight. For example, place the container in a closed cabinet.
  • Buy your least favorites:  If you buy your favorite candy items in bulk, it’s going to be pretty near impossible to not have a few too many. Opt for candies that don’t approach your “I love” list when buying in large quantities.
  • Exercise: Start your day on the right foot by breaking out a good quality sweat. When you feel healthy and at your peak, you’re less likely to sabotage yourself later by indulging that night. Who wants to ruin all that hard work?!

 Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a San Francisco-based registered dietitian specializing in nutrition, health communications, and social media. Passionate about empowering people to reach and maintain a state of optimal wellness, Corinne’s messages reach thousands of people every day. Corinne strives to help people cultivate the best, healthiest, and happiest “you” there is. To learn more about Corinne, visit