Healthy & Happy Halloween
Kids eyes light up when this time of year starts to settle in on us. Grocery store aisles are stocked with candy, costume stores start to pop up around town and the imaginations of the young and old are filled with ideas about what to do for Halloween, be it their yard décor or their costume! We can all enjoy this time of year along with keeping it healthy and not end up being spooked by your children’s candy consumption!
Halloween is a great time to reiterate the importance of moderation to your child as Halloween kicks off the “season of eating”, with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner. Talk to your child about spreading their treats out over a period of time and enjoying their personal favorites in moderation.
Start a healthy Halloween trend!
It's easier than ever to find healthy, Halloween treats – which will make kids happy while providing a nutritional benefit. There are many kid-friendly treats that contain whole grains, extra vitamin C, 100-percent fruit juice and added fiber.
This year, consider mixing up the candy bowl with some of the standard treats and other healthier treats that kids will enjoy, and you can feel good about serving. All of these items are available in easy to distribute snack-size packages, too.
• Fruit snacks made with 100-percent fruit with added vitamin C
• Sugar-free gum
• Animal-shaped graham crackers made without trans fat
• Mini rice cereal treat bars
• Cereal bars made with real fruit
• Individual fruit cups
• Mini 100-percent fruit juice boxes
• Low-fat pudding cups
• Baked, unsalted bags of pretzels
• Whole-grain cheddar flavored crackers
Remember to read the labels when buying these snacks to be sure they are smart choices. For example, check to see that fruit snacks, cereal bars, and juice boxes are made with 100-percent real fruit; animal crackers are made without trans fats and those cheddar crackers are made with whole grains. If possible, avoid snacks containing nuts so children with nut allergies don’t have an extra worry.
Other options for trick-or-treaters are non-food handouts, such as Halloween pencils, pens, stickers, tattoos and spider rings. And if you just can’t resist handing out candy, opt for bite-sized candies.
Staci Lupberger, MS, RD, is assistant director at CU’s Anschutz Health & Wellness Center and program director of the Center’s My New Weigh Program. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition & Food Science from Colorado State University, a BS in Dietetics from the University of Northern Colorado and a BA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the center in 2015, Staci's work experience included strategic development, corporate compliance, and account management with Pfizer Inc., Morgan Stanley, and the National Football League. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running with her dogs, practicing yoga, playing the piano and spending time with family & friends.