Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Cast a Healthy Spell on Trick-or-Treaters!
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By Connie Evers MS, RD, LD – Nutrition for Kids

Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog – Cast a Healthy Spell on Trick-or-Treaters

Limit the Candy Goblin’ this Halloween

I’m conducting an experiment this Halloween. Don’t worry, I will still have a bowl of candy. (After all, I don’t want my house covered in toilet paper!). But I will also have another bowl, filled with things like stickers, pencils, colorful shoelaces, arcade tokens, sugar free gum, small packs of nuts, trail mix, and lower sugar cereal bars. I will ask trick-or-treaters to choose one item from each bowl. I’m going to keep a record of how the kids respond and how many actually take something from the non-candy bowl. This is science, people.

So, why am I risking being forever labeled as the un-cool mom of the neighborhood? It’s because I want to model that quaint concept known as “moderation.” In America, we tend to do everything in excess. Instead of small Halloween bags or buckets, kids bring pillowcases to fill with candy. I’m on a mission here to prove that kids don’t have to collect their body weight in candy in order to have fun.

Here are more of my tips for parents on how to keep Halloween both fun and healthy:

1. Encourage regular meals, including supper before children go trick-or-treating. Your kids may be more interested in eating if you cook a hearty soup or stew in your cauldron and call it “witches brew.” Eating candy instead of meals tends to make for upset tummies and crabby moods.

2. Set a policy for eating trick-or-treat candy. In my view, it’s better to eat candy moderately over several days as a substitute for dessert or one or two pieces along with a healthy snack. It’s also been my experience that the kids get bored and actually forget about their candy after a few days.

3. At Halloween parties, include healthy snack choices such as popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin muffins (recipe below), whole grain crackers and hummus, baked tortilla chips and guacamole, fruit juice/seltzer punch, chunks of fruits and veggies and cocoa made with fat free or 1% milk. The healthy choices will help balance out the treats.

4. To get into the Halloween spirit, try one of the following fun food activities with your
kids:

JACK-O’-LANTERN Cutouts
Using either light and dark breads (light rye and pumpernickel work well) or white and orange cheeses, create contrasting designs with cookie cutters. Carefully cut identical sections out of both slices of cheese or bread. Insert the dark cutout into the light piece and the light cutout into the dark piece (see diagram).

PUMPKIN SEEDS
Save the seeds when you clean out your pumpkin.
Rinse the seeds well. Mix 3 T. of canola oil,
1/4 tsp. garlic salt and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Mix together with the seeds. Spread out on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees until the seeds are brown and crispy.

PUMPKIN APPLE MUFFINS
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt – 2 eggs
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1/3 cup canola oil
1 apple, peeled and chopped
Nonstick spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray muffin tins with nonstick spray. Mix flour, sugar, spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. In another bowl, slightly beat egg and mix in pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients and mix lightly. Gently fold in the chopped apple. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 25-30 minutes until done. Loosen muffins and serve warm.

Servings: 18 medium muffins
Per muffin: 154 calories, 3 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrate, 5.6 grams fat, 2.7 grams fiber

To see how my trick-or-treating experiment turns out, be sure to follow me on twitter for
updates: @nutritionkids.

To learn more about Connie, check out the links below:

Web:
Nutritionforkids.com

Social Media:
twitter.com/nutritionkids
Facebook.com/nutritionforkids

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Truth on Health

6 Responses to “Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Cast a Healthy Spell on Trick-or-Treaters!”

  1. ibrahim aşkar ölüm says:

    Great info. Thanks again!

  2. Joseph wharton says:

    Hey my name is Joseph Wharton im 12 and i love the idea it sounds like a really good idea for kids to eat healthy/.

  3. Mel says:

    I will be interested to hear about how this turns out! It’s great that you are concerned with keeping Halloween as healthy as possible. Lots of children just don’t get proper information about dental care and prevention. This year instead of candy or treats I have chosen to give to America’s Toothfairy to help raise awareness of this huge problem! I figure educating a few people is the best thing I can do this year, though my house may be the one that ends up covered in toilet paper! http://bit.ly/rj2K08

  4. Connie Evers says:

    Hi Joseph. You are a wise kid! Eating healthy can also taste great and it’s easier to start good habits when you are young. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Anonymous says:

    thanks for this post quite interesting

  6. Connie Evers says:

    The recap of my Halloween trick-or-treating experiment: 43 kids ages toddler to teens. All took from candy & non-food/healthy bowls. Most popular in non-food/healthy were 1. Bubbles by a landslide! 2. Cornnuts 3. Sparkle stickers 4. Kashi Bars 5. Crayons. Kids not interested in almonds or raisins. Young kids loved non-candy “treats” & some had to be reminded to take candy!

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