Halloween revelers spend the evening collecting a staggering 600 million pounds of candy from strangers.
For kids – and more than a few adults – Halloween is one of the best holidays around. But there are healthier ways to treat yourself, and other costumed revelers, to help avoid welcoming November in a sugar haze.
Controlling what kids eat during a candy-focused holiday is no easy task. “While the holiday seems to be all about the candy, it’s wise to help kids to focus on the fun and to set some limits,” says Dr. Luigi Gratton, vice president of medical affairs at Herbalife. “Make sure the kids have a healthy meal or snack before they leave, and negotiate ahead of time how much candy they’ll be allowed to keep and eat,” he adds.
Start the evening with a fun, healthy meal. Offer ‘finger food’ – wrap a string cheese stick with a slice of turkey, then top with a slivered almond ‘fingernail’. Spaghetti ‘worms’ and a black-and-orange fruit salad made with fresh oranges, raisins and dark grapes can help set the mood. If the kids are in a rush to get out the door, whip up a Halloween pumpkin smoothie.
Adults watching their waistlines struggle to fight temptation, too. Some rely on handing out candy they don’t like – and then hope they won’t eat it. Adults need to set limits for themselves, too, if kids will be coming home with tempting goodies – determine ahead of time what will be kept, eaten or given away.
If you don’t want to contribute to the candy madness, you can also offer some healthier treats such as:
- Individual fruit cups or applesauce
- Small juice boxes
- Individually wrapped fortune cookies
- Cereal, granola or protein bars
- Individual packets of hot cocoa mix
- Individual packs of low fat cookies or snack mix
Another strategy is to offer goodies other than candy. Everyone will be giving candy; why not give kids colorful stickers, pencils, temporary tattoos and Halloween-themed party favors – all guilt-free alternatives to traditional sugar-laden treats.
Susan Bowerman is a consultant to Herbalife.