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Don’t let fear of treats keep you from enjoying Halloween

By Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN Food City Registered Dietitian • Oct 31, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Halloween is a fun day full of costumes, parties, and of course, candy! It is also a great opportunity to teach kids to enjoy special treats in moderation as a part of an overall healthy diet. Here are a few tips to keep your Halloween both happy and healthy.

First of all, stay balanced. Halloween is just one day of the year, so don’t let the fear of the excess treats keep you from enjoying the day. Our eating patterns over time contribute more of an impact on health than what we eat on any particular day. If you are worried about candy consumption, try serving more nutritious snacks first before the sweet treats. Serve healthier options that are still fun and festive but provide more beneficial nutrients at parties or to trick-or-treaters. There are plenty of healthier snacks throughout the grocery store. Check labels for whole grains, 100 percent fruit juice, and no trans fats.

Remember portion control. For those special sweet treats you do eat, try to eat them in smaller portions. For example, go for “fun-size” instead of full-size candy bars. For brownies or cookies, start with a piece around 2 inches in diameter. If you are having a party, try serving each child their treats individually rather than leaving them unattended on the table all night. Plan some fun activities at your party as well so it’s not just all about the food. Have a costume party or relay race. Take the opportunity to teach your kids the importance of balance: balancing what we eat with activity.

Lastly, limit leftover candy. Again, remember to stay balanced. Avoid depriving your little trick-or-treaters, but do model and practice moderation with them. After Halloween, store candy in a place that is out of sight. Or try to repurpose leftover candy into a more nutritious snack by mixing it with whole grain cereal, nuts or pretzels to make a homemade trail mix. You could also develop a treat schedule for your kiddos, so they learn that eating sweets in moderation is a normal part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

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