It’s Halloween! A time for tricks, treats, and tons of sugar. It's spooky to think about all the sweets that you or your child eat on Halloween night. However, this fun tradition doesn’t have to focus on the fright and fear of being unhealthy. Dig in, and grab six healthy tips for Halloween.
You (or your kids) are costumed up and ready to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year, but it can be scary to think about all of the sugar in Halloween candy and treats. Research shows that kids dig into up to three cups of candy on Halloween night (1); however, Halloween can be healthy by balancing it with nutritious foods and activities. So, let’s explore how to create balance while enjoying a sweet treat or two!
Healthy living is all about balance. Remember, Halloween is only one day a year. What matters most is what you or your child eat on a daily basis. Start by focusing on balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day. Then, enjoy a few pieces of candy.
Consuming sugar-rich treats on an empty stomach can lead to drastic peaks and valleys in our blood sugar. When our blood sugar dips, it can make us feel more tired and crave more sweet treats. So, fill up on blood sugar-stabilizing protein with fiber-rich foods to curb cravings before chomping on candy.
Eating candy more mindfully can help reduce consumption and increase satisfaction (2). If you’re doing this with your child, encourage them to play another Halloween character – a detective or scientist exploring the candy. Be mindful of your candy by feeling its weight, looking at its shape and color, opening it and listening to the sound the wrapper makes, smelling it while thinking about descriptive words, and then taking small bites to truly taste it.
Whether you’re going trick or treating or to a party, if you do so when you’re hungry, it will be very difficult to hold onto healthy intentions because when we’re hungry, our ghoulish hormone ghrelin is elevated. Eat a proper meal before going to an event to avoid being tricked into eating treats.
Studies suggest that we eat more when we’re served larger portions (3). So rather than grabbing handfuls of candy directly from the pillowcase or candy holder, serve a few of the mini-sized candies to yourself or your child.
You can make a fun challenge to see how many steps you take versus the amount of candy you and your kid get. Trick-or-treating or doing the monster mash contributes to your daily activity! Walking around the neighborhood counts towards your steps. If you’re going to a party, dance and take in the decorations instead of standing next to a tempting food station.
Have fun trick or “treating yourself” and your kids to these healthy Halloween recipes and snack ideas:
Make snacks into spooky shapes. Cut bananas in half and then add little eyes to make them look like ghosts. Cut fruit into Halloween shapes such as a thin slice of apple and cutting out a jack-o-lantern pattern. You can also do the same for roasted vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets.
Buy eyes from the baked good section then add to almost any healthy snack. For example, try one-half of a whole-grain bagel with natural peanut butter. Or use a cookie cutter for slices of cheese and then add some peering eyes. Make a healthy hummus or guacamole dip, add the eyes on top, and serve with some fresh vegetable crudités.
Carve a pumpkin and roast the seeds. Pumpkin contributes disease-fighting beta-carotene while the roasted seeds give you antioxidants and immune-boosting zinc to keep you and your child healthy during the colder months (4).
For more, check out these 6 Healthier Treats You Can Make For Your Halloween Party. Then, download Lifesum to find more freakishly fun and delicious recipes!
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