A Healthier Halloween
By Jackie Cartier
October 23, 2015
‘Tis the sugar season—Halloween kicks it off with candy lingering until it’s time for Thanksgiving pies, then it's onto the holiday cookies. This is the yearly making of a true sugar trap that is hard, but not impossible, to avoid. Not only does sugar wreak havoc on your brain, weight and mood, it also slows, and sometimes paralyzes, your immune function, which is the last thing you want this cold and flu season.
Last year, according to the National Retail Federation, $2.2 billion was spent on Halloween candy, and we can only assume this year will be just as much. So before the ghosts and goblins come knocking on your door, and before your kiddos come home with their candy haul, let’s take a look at some healthier options to get you through the trap of the sugar season.
Instead of sugary sweets there are tons of fun options that kids will covet and we’re not talking about the stereotypical toothbrush from your neighborhood dentist; items like pencils with fun designs, small bubble bottles, stickers, glow-in-the-dark glow sticks, temporary tattoos and so much more.
It’s a fact that kiddos are going to get candy on Halloween so we might as well give them some options made with real ingredients.
- YumEarth Organic Pops: One pop consists of 5.6 grams of carbs which will turn into just about 1.5 tsp. of sugar in your blood stream. These pops are available in bulk which might make them even sweeter in our opinion.
- Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: One pack of cups from this popular brand consists of 21 grams of carbs which will turn into a little over 5 tsp. of sugar in the blood stream.
- SunCups Nut-Free & Gluten-Free Sunflower Butter Cups: Similar to other cup treats, Sun Cups are a great option for children (or adults) with a gluten sensitivity or nut allergy. One pack of cups consists of 16 grams of carbs which will turn into 4 tsp. of sugar in the blood stream.
There are tons of fun, and healthier, alternatives instead of giving your kids free reign to eat their huge bags of candy.
- Switch Witch: Every October the Switch Witch doll visits, acting mischievous and playing hide-and-go-seek with children every night until her favorite eve of the year, Halloween. At bedtime on Halloween children leave their candy with the witch and she makes the switch trading their loot for a special gift.The Switch Witch visits some Nutritional Weight & Wellness nutritionist’s homes a few days after Halloween, giving kiddos a chance to enjoy one candy a night after dinner for that handful of days.
- Operation Gratitude & Halloween Candy Buyback: This program is gaining national recognition for dental offices buying back children's Halloween candy ($1 for every pound of unopened candy). From there Operation Gratitude sends the candy to U.S. troops overseas as a token of our thanks. Check the site to find one of the eight participating dental offices within 100 miles of the Twin Cities area or in your local area.
Before the pumpkins get lit and the costumes come on, a balanced dinner is the best idea. Little tummies filled with protein, fat and carbs are naturally less likely to crave sugar and lose all control. Same goes for parents!