Is the idea of all that tempting Halloween candy scaring you more than your favorite horror film?

Fear not. There are ways that you can indulge in your favorite sweet treats and not feel guilty about it.

Melissa Keeney, RDN, a registered dietitian-nutritionist with Hartford HealthCare shares some tips for a healthier Halloween.

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Practice “mindful eating.”

“When eating Halloween candy, savor it!” says Keeney.

Limit distractions. Slow down and focus on the smell, texture and taste of your candy. It is easier to eat past fullness if you are eating while multi-tasking.”

Eat regular meals throughout the day.

Saving up your calories for an extra Snickers bar? That may backfire, says Keeney.

“If you save all of your calories for nighttime Halloween candy, you are actually more likely to overindulge. Aim to eat three meals and one to two snacks with carbs, protein, fat and fiber. If you eat candy with a balanced meal or snack, your blood sugars will stay more stable.”

Enjoy everything Halloween has to offer.

Halloween has a lot more to it than just sweet treats.

“There are haunted houses, apple and pumpkin picking, scary movies or even creating a spooky-themed meal. My favorite is jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers,” says Keeney.

If you have kids, avoid food or candy restrictions.

When we limit or restrict candy we are likely to eat more of it. The same goes for children,” says Keeney. “Demonstrating to children that candy will be available today, tomorrow and next week will decrease the appeal of candy.

When you do indulge, choose your candy carefully.

When it comes to selecting a healthier candy, Keeney offers these tips:

  • The protein and fat from the peanut butter in Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Snickers may keep you feeling full longer.
  • Dark chocolate bars, at least 70 percent cocoa and above, have antioxidant properties. The bittersweet taste may help you enjoy your chocolate more mindfully.

Ultimately, Keeney says the best candy is your favorite candy.

“If you choose something just because it’s “healthy,” it’s likely you won’t feel satisfied and will wind up eating your favorites anyway,” she says.

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