Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Halloween by Dietitian, Lara Veazey, MA, RD/LD

Don't Let this Halloween Haunt Your Waistline!

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Halloween by Dietitian, Lara Veazey, MA, RD/LD
Check out Lara Veazey's featured column in Edmond Active magazine

Halloween is just the kickoff to a season of sweet indulgences. The following tips can help keep you and your family on a healthy track.
Choose the best treats for the neighborhood:
• The smaller, the better. Look for candy that’s labeled as “fun size” or “mini.”
• Buy treats you do not like, if you do not buy it, then you will not eat it!
• Buy treats and candy on the day that you need them to avoid temptation in the house.
• Select candy that takes a while to eat like lollipops or sucking candies like jolly ranchers.
• Buy value packs of sugarless gum.
• Take advantage of the portion control craze and hand out 100-calorie snack packs. (Look for their super cartons at warehouse stores to save money.)
• Stock up on 100% fruit chews.
• Avoid candy completely; give out baseball cards, spider toys, play dough, glow stick bracelets and necklaces, tattoos, etc.
• Pretzel packs, graham cracker packs, and Teddy Graham packs

Managing your own kid’s sugar rush:
-Feed them real food first! Don’t send kids out trick-or-treating hungry. Make sure they have a healthy balanced meal with fruits and vegetables before they take off on their journey. The hungrier they are, the more candy they will eat en route.
-Make sure you check your children’s candy before they eat it and get rid of additional sugar. Avoid all unnecessary sugar on the day and week leading up to Halloween. Omit soda, fruit drinks, sugared cereals (cereals containing more than 8g of sugar)and pancake syrup since you know they’ll be eating candy.
-Everything in moderation: Allow your children to have a few pieces of candy when they get home from trick-or-treating. You may also want to have them count out extra favorites to save for the following few weeks and discard or give away candy that isn’t their favorite. Then establish a system, perhaps one piece with their lunch and one after dinner.
-Don’t let kids keep their candy stashes in their rooms. Storing the loot in the kitchen will allow for less unsupervised temptation. Dump the extra or give it away to the a local shelter or the mail man.
-If your children’s school is hosting a Halloween party, offer to bring something healthy like trail mix, popcorn, fruit salad or pumpkin muffins. There will still be plenty of sweets! Or consider bringing some spooky little toys or Halloween themed pencils.
-Make homemade treats. Choose holiday recipes that are low in fat and sugar and high in fruits and whole grains. Try reducing sugar and fat in recipes by replacing them with applesauce, apple juice concentrate, or flax meal.
-Most importantly, remember don’t use candy as a reward for good behavior.
Edmond Active Magazine is Edmond Oklahoma's community magazine, bringing readers information on local businesses, coverage of local events and more.

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