Healthy Halloween Treats

      Today's the day when sugar is king and candy is the focus for every kid on the block. But not to worry! Our foodie mom and lifestyle expert, Elisha Joyce, gave us four simple steps for fending off Halloween sugar overload - and a few clever ideas for using up all the 'extra' halloween candy you don't want hanging around the house.

      Step 1: Nourish. Just like we're told not to grocery shop on an empty stomach, kids shouldn't be sent out trick-or-treating on an empty stomach. They need protein and fiber - both of which will keep them feeling fuller, longer.

      Step 2: Mind the Water! Load up on the water before heading out the door... hydration is the key to suppressing the urge to overindulge. No sugary drinks - WATER.

      Step 3: Set the Ground Rules. When kids return with their stash, no candy gets eaten until they understand the rules of engagement with the candy: how much they're allowed to eat, how much they're allowed to keep, where it will be kept, and where all the leftover candy goes. (And, while rehashing the rules and before they sit down with their bounty, make sure they have a snack of fruit or veggies and, again, more water).

      Step 4: Have a plan. There are many options for the excess: ice cream / froyo topping bar at home; plain chocolates get mixed with dried fruit and nuts for kids lunches; create 'thank you' bags for your local firefighters, police officers, mail carriers, garbage workers - all those whose service often gets overlooked; drop them off in the teacher's lounge at school; call your dentist / orthodontists - many will often buy the candy from the kids; send it to our troops via Operation Gratitude - again, another way to get our kids thinking about and appreciating those who give their lives for our safety.