Halloween is a family favorite. And although every one deserves a treat now and then, this holiday of sugar and chocolate can pack on loads of extra calories. Adding family exercise like bike rides can help you have a healthy Halloween.
According to a report from Time, kids can bring home between 3,500 and 7,000 calories in their haul Halloween night. The same article says that a 100 pound child who consumed those sweets entirely would have to walk for 14.5 hours to work it off. That’s a lot!
So before you and your little ones dive into the treats, plan ahead and follow a few simple guidelines for the evening:
- Have a healthy dinner: Halloween is a busy night for most. We’re lucky it falls on a Saturday this year, but typically we’re rushing home from work to get dinner on the table, kids in their costumes and out the door. It can be easy to get a pizza delivered or order take out during this crazy time, but try opting for a crock pot meal or maybe even left overs. Filling kids up with a healthy dinner will hopefully help keep them from eating more candy while going from house to house. Plus, it will give them the proper energy to get through the night.
- Opt for walking: If the weather is less than desirable, it can be ease to fire up the family grocery-getter and cart kids from house to house. Try to avoid this if you can. Bundle up, wear appropriate clothing for the weather and have the family walk it out. Older kids who are allowed to go out on their own can even go old school and strap a milk crate to their bike. Stay active and easily carry a large load of candy!
- Keep the favorites, toss the rest: There are LOTS of different kinds of candy being passed out to trick-or-treaters, and we all know how picky kids can be. If you’re looking to trim down the haul, have kids choose their favorite pieces and toss out the rest. If you don’t want to be wasteful, perhaps store it all in an airtight tub and enjoy it throughout the year. Having one or two pieces here and there is better than downing all that sugar in a week or two.
- Earn your sweets: Just because kids stock up on candy Halloween night, doesn’t mean they should always have access to it. Use their loot to encourage good behavior. Do your chores? Get a piece of candy. Homework done? One more piece.
- Exercise: Plan some family exercise to balance out the extra calories. Fall is the perfect time to go for family bike rides, walk through the park and more. Do what you can to keep kids active and make it a family affair. Of course, you’ll need the perfect car bike rack to get your family’s rides to the park.