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Healthy Halloween

Author: Cara Walsh

October 23, 2017

Healthy Halloween

Author: Cara Walsh

October 23, 2017

Halloween is a difficult time of year for those who are trying to eat healthy. Even if you don’t have kids who bring candy home, chances are that your friends or co-workers who have kids may be trying to offload their candy stash by passing it along. Your office probably even has bowls of candy stashed all over, and friends may offer you candy when you visit them. This type of constant temptation makes it challenging to stay on track when temptation is constantly in front of you.

Halloween doesn’t have to completely derail your healthy eating plan, however; there are plenty of ways that you can take Halloween into your own hands and make it a healthy affair!

You’ll probably even find that people will thank you for skipping all that extra candy and providing healthier options on this decadent holiday. Making these changes to your normal Halloween routine can be really simple, fun and delicious too.

Here are just a few tips to make your Halloween much healthier this year.

Choose better candy

Sure, all candy can be enjoyed in moderation, but there are some options that are better than others. Dark chocolate is a wonderful choice that is low in sugar, has antioxidants and is satisfying in small amounts. Dark chocolate that is at least 65% dark is a much better choice when compared to milk chocolate, which is often much higher in sugar.

Depending on your current nutrition focus, there could be different things you want to look at when choosing candy. For example, you may be more focused on sugar or calories, verses fat. Look at and compare nutrition labels. Not all candy is the same and taking a few minutes to check out the different options can help you make a much better choice.

Whatever nutritional marker you choose to utilize, make sure to not over indulge in how much you eat. There can be a significant difference in eating one small snack-sized candy bar and eating ten of them: one is a treat, ten are a diet-buster.

  • Hershey’s Miniatures and Starburst Fun Size are a few of the lower sugar treats to enjoy.
  • Snack size York Peppermint Patties are a little higher in sugar but only has 50 calories.
  • Stay away from candies such as Mounds and Baby Ruth that are not only high in calories, but fat and saturated fat.

Make Healthy Snacks

Although the easiest way to throw together a Halloween party is to grab candy and throw it in a bowl, with just a little preparation, you can make healthy Halloween snacks that everyone will enjoy!Healthy Halloween Snacks

  • Try making Jack O’Lantern Clementines: with black sharpie, draw pumpkin faces on cuties or clementines as an easy snack!
  • You can even make your own candy. Pick up some dark chocolate, melt it in the microwave or double boiler and drizzle over almonds, walnuts, raisins or peanuts. This keeps you in control of how much chocolate you are eating, plus you also get the heart-healthy benefits of raw nuts.
  • Banana ghosts are easy to make too. Peel and slice a banana in half, then push a popsicle stick up into the bottom of the fruit (so the curved tip is at the top). Use mini chocolate chips or raisins to make eyes and a mouth. For another variation, throw them in the freezer to make ghost popsicles!
  • Focus on the fun! Everything is more delicious when it has a spooky or fun name. Spaghetti squash can be kind of boring, but add some tomato sauce and call it “Zombie Brains.” Kids may be more likely to try the healthier version and you may like it better too!
  • Go candy free! Kids love trinkets; instead of candy this year, find Halloween themed pencils, erasers or stickers to give out. You’ll completely eliminate the temptation after the holiday is over and you know that you are giving kids something better than candy or junk food.
  • Look for snacks that you can throw in your lunch bag. Bags of mini pretzels, carrots, string cheese or popcorn are great options, because you can put them in your lunch box the following week, guilt free!
  • Eat dinner before you go. Eating a filling and healthy dinner before you go out Trick-or-Treating. Making sure to not be starving will help you (and the kiddos) maintain some self-control. It’s much easier to say “no” to candy when you aren’t hungry.
  • Be prepared. Be extra diligent about keeping healthy snacks around, including in your desk and purse, so that if temptation pops up, you have a healthy snack ready to go.

 

After Halloween

Now that you’ve either gone trick-or-treating yourself, or are dealing with leftovers from your own giveaway stash, what can you do to get rid of it?

Many schools or dental offices will take back candy from families; some even offer to buy it back as a fundraiser to raise money for their school. Another option is to ship it to soldiers who are working overseas by donating it to Operation Gratitude.

Above all, remember that Halloween is only one day. If you over-indulge a little that day, get yourself back on track the next. Check in with your Medifast Weight Loss counselor for additional healthy tips this Halloween.

About the Author:

Cara Walsh
Counselor at The Carmel Mountain Ranch Medifast Weight Control Center

Cara Walsh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Weight Control Counselor. Cara received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian through the Utah State University. Cara is currently completing her Masters in Dietetic Administration through Utah State University. Cara has always had a passion for healthy eating and cooking. She loves to focus on how food can heal and provide nutrition-while tasting delicious. Cara thrives on helping others reach their full potential nutritionally. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to Pilates and running the boardwalk on the Pacific Ocean with her son and husband.

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