Halloween, a time of ghost, goblins, skimpy costumes, and EEK!…sugar overload! A holiday revolving around candy and sugary sweets is a nightmare on Health Street for anyone trying to watch their nutrition. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid contributing to the cavities and behavioral problems of trick-or-treaters in your hood without being the house on the block that everyone passes by (and tricks later on). And for those of you who are never too old to go door-to-door, take this advice to have a healthy Halloween.
It’s quite easy to go to the grocery store and buy a 5 pound bag of candy to pass out. But as more and more families skip trick-or-treating, that means less kiddos knocking on your door. You might be stuck with 4 pounds of candy when the night is done, ultimately causing you to gain 4 or more pounds as your candy stash disappears before winter. What to do?
Don’t just ditch passing something out or else you’ll get doorbell ditched. Think about other ways you can spread the spirit without spreading too much sugar. Many snack companies are finally catching on to the whole “nutrition is cool” thing, and you can now find pre-packaged, Halloween-friendly trail mix, nuts, fruit rolls, and other foods that are still tasty and provide a good amount of nutrition. Hopefully, the takers won’t toss those treats out!
Treats don’t have to always be something you can eat. A child would be just as juiced to get a cool new mummy pencil as she would be in receiving another lollipop. Dollar stores all over the place sell fun and festive goody bag treats that would also go well in a trick-or-treat bag. Fill up a basket with random toys and knick-knacks and let your visitors choose what to put in their bag.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and a bag full of candy after doing your rounds, abstaining from sweets might be near impossible for you. Try doing what the kids do. Sort your candy into what you want to keep and what you want to toss. Give yourself a limit, say 20 pieces, and ration those out. A little candy won’t hurt you, but a lot of it sure will!
For the mamas out there, Halloween might be a struggle for you and your kids, as you can already envision the dentist bill. First of all, don’t go trick-or-treating without a full stomach. You might just find the bag empty before you reach home. Allow your little goblins to sort through the candy and keep what they’ll eat, which you’ll keep in a secret stash somewhere safe. Just make sure that you don’t dip into it…they’re keeping track and so should you.
For the party hostesses with the mostesses, treats don’t always have to be something super sweet. You can make Halloween festive and feel like a treat if you just get crafty and creative. Don’t use up all your imagination for your costume! Sometimes, all it takes is a change of name. Forget about boring spaghetti…now it’s bloody worms! You can also turn the ordinary into Halloween art. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that everyone will sink their teeth into. Cut whole wheat bread into the shape of a vampire face and use raisins for eyes and almond slices for fangs. Or for the gore factor, cut off a shallow bowl in the top of a head of cauliflower and fill with a yogurt and herb dip. Mmmmm, now you can dip veggies into some brain guts (I promise, it looks like a brain!). For drinks, go for a bloody Mary…if you dare.
Hope these ideas spark your imagination and steer you and others away from too much sugar. You do want to look fabulously fly in your costume for next year, right?
Have a healthy Halloween!
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