How to Handle Halloween Treats

Creative costumes, spooky decorations, the thrill of walking through the neighbourhood at night, — and, of course, the tricks-or-TREATS!


As Registered Dietitians, the question of how to handle Halloween treats comes our way every year!

There is no magic amount of number that one person or child can have; what is more important is looking at the overall relationship with food. We know that Halloween is not the only time we are faced with treats in the workplace, school, home and at events or other celebrations, so it’s important to put it in context and reflect on the other 364 days in a year.

Here are some questions that can help you to look at the bigger picture and figure out how you want to navigate Halloween:

  1. How often am I engaging in treats on a regular week? Reflect on where, why, and how much.
  2. Do I stop and reflect on how my body feels when I eat treats?
  3. Am I engaging in other healthy behaviours the majority of the time, such as balancing meals, eating fruits and vegetables, and making most of my food at home?
  4. Am I engaging in treats out of a stress response? Am I tired? Did I have a bad day? Am I using treats as comfort, reward, or a coping strategy?


Now consider these strategies:

  • Buy treats the day of or 1-2 days before to avoid constant temptation before Halloween
  • Buy non-food-based treats – there are so many great options now, from playdough, stickers, glow sticks or novelty-themed items
  • Have a conversation with your family on mindful eating practices – listening to how your body feels when it’s full or hungry, how it feels when you eat certain items, or how it feels after a balanced meal versus treats.
  • Have the kids go through their piles of candy and pick which ones are their favourite
  • Be a role model: kids will follow their parent’s lead!
  • Normalize treats as part of a balanced lifestyle. Be mindful of using them as reward, restriction or punishment or labelling them as “good or bad”
  • Consider having the treats after eating a balanced meal or snack as part of a balanced meal


If you feel that you need support around this topic or to help set out a plan, feel free to book a 15-minute Discovery Phone Call with one of our Registered Dietitians !