October 10th, 2011 by Digestive Detective
Trick or Treat? Most of us reach for the treats. Halloween is a fun, festive time of year, but is the official kickoff of holiday season; a time when many stray from usual eating habits. With the temptation of heavy holiday dishes, and party leaped upon party, it’s easy to see why the average weight gain between Halloween and New Year’s is a whopping 7-10 lbs! For kids, Halloween provides a super sugar rush in the form of bags bursting at the seams with candy. This Halloween, get a plan together beforehand so that you and your kids can enjoy the holidays without the guilt and added weight woes:
- Purchase healthy Halloween alternatives. When preparing for Halloween, choose healthy alternatives to the usual fare by buying low-sugar candy, dark chocolate, trail mix, granola, mixed nuts, or pretzels. Also consider non-food items such as crayons, coloring books and stickers for a fun activity for kids.
- Portion it out. Kids often come back with literally pounds worth of candy after trick-or-treating. Just as with adults, it’s important to portion out the treats to prevent kids from overindulging. Make a game with kids where they separate each treat into its own pile based on the type: gum in one, chocolate bars in another, hard candy in a third, etc. Then, have the kids choose a piece from each pile to portion into small “treat bags” that they can have when they want to enjoy their spoils.
- Take advantage of seasonal foods. Autumn arrives with a nice variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables that serve as healthy, wholesome treats for kids and parents alike. Here’s a quick list of the best in season during fall months:
- Apples – Apples (with the skin) are high in fiber and rich in vitamins A and C. Try apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.
- Butternut Squash – Squash is a great source of carotenoids in the diet. Great for butternut squash soup or a roasted veggie medley.
- Pears – Pears are packed with fiber. Make pear sandwiches topped with slices of white cheddar cheese.
- Grapes – Grapes are a hydrating fruit full of several vitamins. Freeze for a healthy, quick snack.
- Pomegranates – Pomegranates are very high in antioxidants. Core the seeds out to eat by hand or mix in salads.
- Sweet Potatoes – Magnesium and beta-carotene are among the essential elements found in sweet potatoes. Cut, drizzle with olive oil and season with paprika for baked sweet potato fries.