30 May 8 Tips to a Healthy, Happy Halloween from NYC Registered Dietitian
Halloween is fun. It’s a time of fantasy and possibility. Its traditions go back thousands of years, and there’s no denying the magic in a holiday where everybody finds their inner child!
There is a way to indulge in Halloween without slipping down the sugar rush slide. Really! Whether you’re trick-or-treating or hosting a Halloween party, just by making some adjustments, you can cut back on sugar, boost your activity levels, and keep Halloween Healthy (ish!) 😊.
- Eat your witch’s brew first. Every year, my mom used to make us witch stew before trick-or-treating. We always filled up on chunky vegetables in beef broth because, well, it was witch’s brew. (During the year, we refused to touch the stuff). Eating a healthy meal before trick-or-treating will curb the crave. No kid ever turns her nose up at something from a black cauldron!
- Remember portion distortion? The same thing happens when trick-or-treaters use pillowcases instead of a small little container. Keep the trick-or-treat bag small for little ones, just getting one piece of candy at each house. This also makes for more walking to fill up. Avoid the pillowcase trend as long as you can.
- Walk … a lot. Trick-or-treating is a great way to explore the neighborhood and walk, walk, walk …The more houses you visit, the more you walk! So, keep the car in the garage, put on your Fit Bit and see how many steps you can take on the 31st!
- Check out expiration dates. Beware of outdated and funky looking candy. Toss it.
- Monster Mash Halloween Munchies! Instead of candy-only, get creative with frightening and fun Halloween snacks.
- Frankenstein avocado toast (pureed avocados always look ghastly and taste great!)
- A vegetable skeleton with crushed bone dip. (sliced peppers, mushrooms for the spine etc. all to dip in creamy yogurt).
- Zombie brains dip (hummus!)
- Pumpkin bran muffin bites and silver dollar pumpkin pancake bites.
- Sliced apple nacho plate (thin-sliced apples with peanut butter and a drizzle of dark chocolate).
- Beware of the beverage! Stick to sparkling water with a drop of food coloring. Freeze lychees with a raspberry for the perfect frozen eyeball garnish.
- Be the cool sticker house. Instead of candy, get erasers and pencils from the dollar-store to hand out. Or stickers, temporary tattoos … anything ghoulish and ghastly and fun.
- Set expectations. If your six-year-old comes home with a pillowcase of candy, and you say, “Okay, kid, hand over half,” there might be a problem. However, if you talk about what candy can be kept, what can be eaten, and what candy needs to be handed over before trick-or-treating, you can avoid the sugar-high meltdown. What to do with the rest? Donate it to someone who needs it, keep it for holiday baking, or freeze it for later use, throughout the year.
- Be safe. Always. Don’t let kids go trick-or-treating alone. Always make sure they’re in groups, preferably with an adult. Make sure costumes don’t trip them up. Some costumes are SO CUTE and so terribly unmanageable. The same for masks. If kids wear masks, make sure they can see well. Get younger kids in before it gets dark. Host a fun movie night with some Halloween classics (kid-friendly).
Halloween is always a sugar-fest. It’s once a year! But with these easy-to-follow tips, you can curb the sugar crave, boost the freak factor, and make a safer, more nutritious Halloween.