The holiday season has begun and Halloween is one of my favorites. As the mother of a young daughter, it means adorable costumes and seeing her face light up as her bucket fills up with yummy candy. It also means I get to sneak out all my favorites as soon as she goes to bed.
But, as much as I love sharing this holiday with my daughter, the resulting candy stash is not so great for either of us. I mean, sure, we all throw caution to the wind and satisfy the sweet tooth every now and then. But Halloween provides enough candy to binge for days and weeks, and that is not good for my figure!
Unfortunately, I don’t have the willpower to just leave it alone. And eating too much sugar makes me feel fat, lazy and just altogether bad. Worse still is watching my wonderful bouncy little girl feeling down and moping around. And she certainly isn’t going to understand why I’m always the candy Grinch.
So the dilemma: What to do with all this candy?
I decided to start with a little research, and the first thing I wanted to know was how much sugar is OK?
This is what I found…
Basically, it is different for everyone. But these are the recommendations of the American Heart Association: Adult women shouldn’t consume more than 25g of sugar a day; for men, no more than 37g to 38g is best.
Kids get a little more detailed, as age and size matter. For preschool children eating a 1,200- to 1,400-calorie diet, this translates into about 16.7 g per day. Children 4 to 8 years old should get even less — around 12g to 13g a day. Older kids, teenagers and preteens, have a little more wiggle room with the recommended limits at 21-33g of sugar daily.
What does that translate to in real life? Well, one Snickers candy bar has 30g of sugar. Given that information, at least on Halloween, I do not anticipate complying with the American Heart Association’s recommendations for me. I’m going to enjoy my candy bar and keep a little on hand to carefully dole out for my daughter — but what can I do with the rest of this candy?
I decided to hop online and I found some really great suggestions.
One of my favorites was to take the candy to a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office that will trade it for money, healthier snacks or small toys. As an added bonus, the office may donate the candy to our soldiers overseas or charities—or you could do that yourself. You could also consider making a trade with your children—perhaps a trip to the park, an extra play date or a new toy in exchange for most of the candy.
Some other suggestions I really liked were:
- Visit neighbors, nursing homes, hospitals or shelters and share the extra candy with those who can’t go trick-or-treating.
- Use the candy for art projects or math lessons.
- Share it at parties and social gatherings.
- Make trail mix with the candy for a fun family project.
My favorite suggestion (although I’m sure my daughter would have a different opinion) was sending the candy to work with mom or dad. Everyone at the office loves you for bringing the treats in, it disappears really quickly, and it does not all go straight to MY hips! Sharing is caring!