Having a Healthy Halloween

Fall is finally here, which means that Halloween is just around the corner – time to get pumpkins, costumes and candy! Halloween is known for the copious amounts of candy and treats given out not only to kids, but kept in houses for parents to eat as well. This holiday can be a diet disaster for even the most health devoted parents and dieters. Although indulging in some fun sized candy is synonymous with the holiday, it should be thought of as a fun time to dress up and enjoy the fall season.

While the candy bowls are piled up high, so are the empty wrappers as a result of your mindless snacking. It is amazing how quickly consuming all of the fun-sized treats can get out of control. Candy is full of sugar, which in excess can be bad for you. Sugar is one of the main contributors to the alarming rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in this country. While eating excessive amounts of sugar in just one night won’t kill you, it’s the left-overs that may cause for problems. Left over candy can linger in your house for weeks after, allowing you to pop a few candies in through the day or at night. The recommended limit for sugar consumed in a day is 6-9 teaspoons, which is about 3 miniature snicker bars.

On the contrary, Halloween does not have to be all about the candy. This is an optimal time to teach children about making healthy choices, portions and rationing out their candy. Set a limit on the number of pieces you and your children can have each day and stick to it. Additionally, make sure your kids have a healthy meal before trick-or-treating. This way they are not consuming candy for dinner and dessert.

With a few simple tips and strategies, we can all enjoy Halloween without expanding our waistline. For the trick-or-treaters, be a part of the solution, not the problem. Handing out candy and having it in your house not only temps you, but it is encouraging others to consume more added sugars and promotes weight gain. Some tips to keep that candy bowl away from your house is to:

  • Pass out sugar-free flavored gum
  • Pass out fun stickers, pencils or Halloween toys
  • Halloween tattoos

If you do choose to pass out candy, purchase candy that you do not find tempting to eat and purchase it shortly before Halloween so it does not linger in the house too long.

Don’t let parties get the best of you either! Below are some fun party treats that are perfect for any Halloween themed party.

  • Mummy hands – put a candy corn in the tip of each finger and fill the rest of the glove up with some healthy pop-corn! It’s a yummy treat that is high in fiber and low in sugar, but still in the fun spirit.
  • Jack-O-Lantern Sweet potato fries- Slice up a sweet potato, use a jack-o-lantern cookie cutter for fun shapes, spray with Pam or drizzle on some olive oil and bake in the oven until brown
  • “Boo-Nana Pops”- Slice a banana in half and stick on a popsicle stick, then dip in a cup of yogurt or white chocolate and freeze. Add two little chocolate chips as the eyes for a fun, healthy snack.

For additional information or to schedule a free consultation, please call (732) 254-5553 or go to: AIMSClinic.com.