If you keep these tips in mind, the whole family can enjoy treats during National Candy Month while maintaining a happy, balanced lifestyle.
Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day from confectionery items. Look for your favorite treats in package sizes of 200 calories or less.
Make a Plan
During the summer, there will be treats at many events. Think about when and how you want to treat yourself, so you are not faced with making on-the-spot decisions. You can also prepare for celebrations by choosing a lighter lunch or incorporating a brisk walk into your day.
Focus on Favorites
Whether your favorite is salt water taffy or marshmallows in s’mores, everyone has a few favorite summer treats. Enjoy these special treats and skip the rest or swap them for lower-calorie alternatives.
Mix It Up
You can change the nutritional profile of some of your favorite treats by combining a smaller amount with whole grain cereals, dried fruits and nuts to make a fun trail mix – perfect for hiking, picnics or a day at the beach.
Model Good Behavior
Parents can use National Candy Month as an opportunity to talk to their children about the importance of balance and how to enjoy treats as a fun and unique part of a happy, balanced lifestyle.
While all confections can be enjoyed year-round, many find that non-chocolate candy is especially enjoyable during the warmer months. Little treats like hard candies, gummy bears and taffy are a great way to treat during the summer. These are typically lower-calorie treats, and just a couple of pieces will bring some sweetness to the season.
Don’t Forget the Chocolate
While chocolate and cocoa products are some of the tastiest treats you can enjoy, they may also play a special role in the diet. Some types of dark chocolate and cocoa contain antioxidants called flavanols, which studies suggest may have a positive impact on the cardiovascular system.
Stay Active with Fun Summer Activities
Be sure to maintain your exercise routine throughout the season. Outdoor activities, like lawn games and swimming, are easy ways to incorporate exercise into your plans.
Savor the Flavor
Slowing down and mindfully consuming chocolate and candy can help maximize enjoyment and reduce mindless overeating. Try to focus on the textures and unique flavors of confectionery to help enhance your enjoyment of treats.
Don’t Prohibit Treats
Recent research suggests that restriction may increase your child’s desire for treats. The same goes for you! Overly emphasizing the restriction of treats may also lead to overindulgence in adults, so look for smaller package sizes and front-of-pack calorie labels to help you make informed choices about how you treat during the summer months.