Keep Halloween Fun without Sacrificing Good Nutrition
Halloween is a fun celebration steeped in tradition. From trick-or-treating to school events, this grand occasion is often accompanied not only by food, but the sometimes tough decisions we face when food and community collide. If that has you shaking in your boots, clown shoes, ruby slippers – whichever shoe attire your costume requires – then take a deep breath and say it with me: Halloween can be fun without sacrificing good nutrition!
According to a recent survey put out by the National Candy Association, more than 90% of parents plan to discuss moderation with their children this Halloween. Although it may seem like the opposite of fun to have such a conversation, holidays can be a great time to have an open and honest discussion about the foods we eat. What’s interesting is that by offering up more variety, moderation is often easier to incorporate and discuss.
Despite all the Halloween candy your children may receive or you may sneak from their basket, candy hopefully won’t be the only type of food they receive that day. To help put candy in perspective, make sure to offer well-rounded meals and snacks long before trick-or-treating takes place and don’t be afraid to offer a nutrient-rich snack at school parties either. As a dietitian and mom, I have found that my fear of food rejection often goes unwarranted. Most of the time other parents and children are appreciative for the variety added.
If you aren’t quite sure what to offer or find yourself heavily limited on time, here are three easy go-to recipe ideas that just might work for you.
This green monster of a smoothie can turn the first meal of the day into a total Halloween experience! Perfect if you’re on-the-go, it’s a sure-fire way to have fun and start the day on the right foot. As a dairy-based smoothie, it’s rich in nine essential nutrients needed for proper growth and development. Of these, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium are just a few that can be difficult to get enough of any day of the year, not just on Halloween. Get the recipe here.
Candy Corn Parfaits
Naturally sweet fruit can easily enhance the excitement of any party. Layer pineapple chunks and orange slices on top of each other in a small glass to represent the yellow and orange colors of the original candy corn treat. Top off the fruit with a dollop of plain, non-fat yogurt to finish the parfait and sprinkle with a bit of unsweetened coconut. If you are not a big fan of coconut, simply swap it out for pumpkin seeds, crushed cereal, or your favorite granola. Coconut or not, the fruit and yogurt combination offer an array of nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, and even probiotics that can help boost immune function.
Whether you are about to head out the door for a little trick-or-treating or are on the way to a Halloween-related event, these little brooms are an easy, delicious and fun way to balance out other sweet treats. Get the recipe here.
No matter how you decide to celebrate Halloween this year, don’t forget that it is possible to serve up moderation and enjoy the day without sacrificing good nutrition. With weight concerns still ever present in today’s society and with 42 million children under the age of 5 considered to be overweight or obese in 2013, discovering a healthy balance is important and can lead to a positive, healthy take on eating not only today, but for years to come.
Need even more healthy snack inspiration? Be sure to grab our Super Dairy Snacking sheet.