As a Registered Nurse for 10 years, Brandy Zwicker tells how to treat the family while avoiding all those scary candy calories
Brandy Zwicker, a Registered Nurse for over 10 years and mother of five children, has her fair share of Halloween experiences. From trick-or-treating to haunted houses, she knows that the spooky holiday is mainly centered on one thing: candy.
As a mother, Brandy goes all out for her children, dressing them up in their favorite costumes and decorating the front yard to partake in the neighborhood’s festivities. But as a health practitioner, she knows how indulging Halloween can be and is always looking for new ways to make it as healthy as it is fun. Here are some of her best tips for curbing the candy cravings.
“Eat a healthy meal high in protein and fiber the night of,” said Brandy Zwicker. “A balanced meal helps keep tummies full, reducing risk of overindulging on sweets. Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated as this will help reduce cravings as well.”
Brandy also suggests to get moving and be strategic. Walk the neighborhood instead of driving, and use smaller candy collection containers.
“Leave the pillowcase on the pillow. Smaller containers like plastic pumpkins fill more quickly and can hold more than enough candy for any child,” said Brandy Zwicker.
Staying home to play the treater? Brandy says there are a number of ways to celebrate the Halloween spirit without giving in to the sugar obsession.
“Avoid the bowl on the front porch,” said Brandy. “Give one treat per child instead of letting them grab a handful. Or start a new tradition altogether and hand out something other than candy like popcorn or crayons. It doesn’t have to be boring!”
Other healthy and fun alternatives to candy include:
- Clementines decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns
- Snack-sized bags of pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, or dried cranberries
- 100% real fruit gummies or strips
- Glow-in-the-dark toys or glow sticks
- Mini toys
- Stickers, stamps, or temporary tattoos
- Slime or putty
Of course, Brandy knows Halloween is supposed to be fun. “Indulge if you want to! And don’t beat yourself up if you wake up to a floor full of candy wrappers and all the kids hungover from a sugar crash. Just get back on track the next day and relish the good memories.”
As for the post-Halloween candy, Brandy recommends allowing each child to keep enough to snack on for a week or so and pair it with something healthy such as a banana, nuts, or celery with peanut butter. Many children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and troop care-package programs also welcome excess candy.
About Brandy Zwicker
Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.