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No tricks here! Have a happy and healthy Halloween

No tricks here! Have a happy and healthy Halloween

Known for its spooky tales and sweet indulgences, Halloween is the highlight of the year for everyone. It can also be an opportunity to promote health and wellness. Read on for helpful tips from the University Medical Center New Orleans team on how to have a healthy Halloween that is still fun.

What to do when you’re the one throwing the Halloween party

Hosting a Halloween bash for your for family and friends? You can add a good dose of good health to the party. Choose a theme and have some fun!

Consider hosting an orange-themed bash in honor of the orange-and-black holiday. You can serve healthier treats, such as orange slices, carrot sticks with a Greek yogurt-based dip or baked sweet potato fries.

Carving up pumpkins as part of the festivities? Scoop out those pumpkin seeds and roast them for another healthy Halloween treat! You can also bake with pumpkin, so look for small sugar or pie pumpkins and make your own pumpkin puree.

Not all your party snacks have to be super healthy. Bake some mini treats, such as muffins or cookies with chocolate chips. Serving fruit with a chocolate or caramel drizzle can also provide the perfect amount of sweet. (Bonus points if the fruit is cut into a ghost or other Halloween shape!)

What to do when your kids are going to a Halloween party

When you’re sending your little ones to a Halloween event, helping them make healthy choices becomes a little more challenging. It’s still possible, though.

Set your kids up for success by serving up some healthy snacks beforehand. A snack or small meal containing protein and fiber will help them stay feeling full, so they won’t have quite as much room for sweet treats at the party.

Snack ideas include:

  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Whole wheat tortilla with cheese and lean turkey
  • Yogurt with fruit

If trick-or-treating will be part of the festivities, provide your kids with a small bag or bucket for candy, rather than a jumbo-sized bucket or a pillowcase. When the container is full, that’s a sign that no more candy is needed.

What to do with all that candy

If you find yourself with a huge stash of candy on Nov. 1, you can still handle it in a healthy way. (Yes, you read that right!)

Approach the candy stash in a few different ways:

  • Trade candy for nonfood treats. Limit your candy supply by swapping out some of the candy for other treats, such as stickers or temporary tattoos. Kids can enjoy those items longer, and you can get rid of the stash faster
  • Freeze some of the stash. While it may be tempting to eat all the candy, your sweet craving in January will thank you for putting away some of the candy in November. Chocolate-based candies will freeze best, so store them away and pull them out in single servings later.
  • Look for a drop-off spot. Some dentists and other health providers offer a spot to drop off candy in exchange for sugar-free treats. Most collected candy is donated to a good cause, such as being sent to members of the military.

No matter what you do with the extra candy, it’s a healthy exercise to talk with your family about why it’s a good idea to limit our candy intake. Sort through all the candy collected and have them choose the ones they like the best to keep.

A University Medical Center New Orleans primary care provider can offer tips and guidance related to health and development year-round. Schedule an appointment today!