As Halloween approaches, both you and your dancers are soon to be balancing an influx of sweets. For some, enjoying these treats is no big deal, but for others, the action doesn’t always come with ease. Late nights in the studio pose time constraints that make it challenging to get in full meals and snacks. This can leave you feeling drained, and, therefore, likely to rely on sweets for a quick energy boost to make it through an evening schedule. Despite that quick pick-me-up, an energy crash often follows. Additionally, the overwhelm of food guilt—misinformation surrounding these treats, often deemed to be “bad” or “junk”—makes it easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong just by eating them.
Despite these challenges, it is possible to incorporate Halloween candy into your day in a way that can leave you feeling more at ease. Here are three considerations to enjoy your candy guilt-free as you navigate the weeks ahead.
Consider the Context
Since Halloween candy is likely to have a place in your meal plan over these next few weeks, consider the context in which these additions will be incorporated. Eliminating treats altogether, in hopes of attaining supposed “health” goals, is both unnecessary and likely to leave you feeling unsatisfied. Rather than sacrificing your sweets, use other opportunities to prioritize more nutrient-dense options. For example, add fibrous ingredients like oatmeal, fruit, nuts, seeds, and colorful vegetables to your meals to provide your body with a variety of nutrients that will support your health and performance. Staying hydrated is another way to support your body despite an influx of sweets.
Enjoy Your Candy Alongside a Meal or Snack
Incorporating Halloween candy as part of your meals helps to level your blood sugar. The addition of foods rich in protein, fiber, and fat works to slow the digestion of sugar and, ultimately, prevent those dreaded energy crashes soon after eating. As an example, layer your favorite yogurt with granola and fresh fruit. Sprinkle crushed Halloween candy between the layers for a delightful crunch and festive burst of flavor. You can also use Halloween candy as an addition to your daily snacks. Create a custom trail mix by combining nuts, dried fruit, and a handful of mini candies, like gummy bears. The candy adds a burst of color and sweetness to balance out the savory and nutty components.
Look Beyond the Label
A fear over ingredients is a common concern for dancers and educators alike. Food colorings used in Halloween candy, like many food additives, are often scrutinized as being undesirable, but these fears are largely unwarranted. For starters, these additives are subject to rigorous safety assessments by health authorities before being approved for consumption. Also, the quantities in which these additives are used fall below the threshold of alarm.
Whether you stock the studio with Halloween treats or not, supporting your dancers’ relationships with food means not only modeling one for yourself, but also, normalizing these treats as part of an otherwise balanced meal plan. By doing this, you’ll help to reduce the stress dancers and educators often experience around these foods.