A Healthy Halloween Starts at Breakfast

By JoAnn Ridout, MPH, RD, LD
October 27, 2020

halloween-covid.jpgEven though this Halloween looks a lot different from years past, it’s still unlikely that most parents will successfully shield their children from the sugar rush that is Halloween. But all hope is not lost! The absolute best way to stave off sugar cravings is to eat well before the candy arrives and the cravings hit. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s perhaps most true on Halloween (and other holidays for that matter) to get ahead of the bowls of candy available all night long.

What’s the scariest part of Halloween for you? For us, it’s the candy! Sugar, Chemicals, Damaged Fat, OH MY! That's right, the bestselling candies out there are full of nothing but chemicals. Just try reading some of the ingredients out loud. Beyond that, candy is often made with damaged fats. Snickers for example has different ingredients on different labels, including vegetable oil, palm oil and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Both Snickers and candy corn have corn syrup that also adds to the inflammation that cause inflammation (aka aches and pains) throughout the body and a slow lethargic brain fog on top of that. Would you eat shoe polish or car wax? Didn’t think so, but carnauba wax (found in shoe polish and car wax) is a another surprising ingredient is candy. Then there’s  the ever-present sugar, which is known to be a contributing factor in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, and even cancer. Let’s face it; candy doesn’t do a body good.

Here’s how you and your kiddos can stay ahead of the scary Halloween candy rush. Eat a day of balanced meals with  protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates (particularly the vegetable kind). A balanced meal keeps your blood sugar stable, preventing a crash that brings out that scary monster, the Halloween Candy rush. 

pumpkinchili.jpgHere’s a menu from sun up to sun down on Halloween to keep your family steady and ready so sugar doesn’t knock you all off your feet:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos, perfect for busy mornings and so delicious.
  • Lunch: Chili with a dollop of full-fat sour cream (our Pumpkin Chili is another great option if you like pumpkin as much as we do!).
  • Snack: Pumpkin Muffinslet’s keep going with the pumpkin theme. These muffins are easy to make ahead and take on the go, plus they’re a balanced snack all wrapped in one.
  • Dinner: Shepard’s Pie, you can’t go wrong with this dish the whole family will love (and for  great leftovers on November 1 when candy will still be lying around…).

All that said, we want to wish you a happy and safe Halloween! Enjoy the festivities and your delicious meals planned in advance. 

About the author

JoAnn has always appreciated the value of good nutrition because diabetes and cancer run in her family. Not only does JoAnn understand chronic diseases, but also she has taken on challenging and complex health conditions when she worked as a registered dietitian at Courage Center for 25 years. JoAnn brings extensive experience, along with compassion and understanding to your health concerns. JoAnn graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics and a master of science in public health. As a registered dietitian and nutrition educator, she has experience in therapeutic nutrition counseling, weight management, and nutrition education.

View all posts by JoAnn Ridout, MPH, RD, LD


craving sweets before and after dinner
October 28, 2020 at 3:32 pm


This is a common question we get from nutrition counseling clients. 

Cravings before dinner are often tied to low blood sugar. Cravings after dinner can be caused by an unbalanced dinner, maybe not enough fat/protein/fiber (veggies), or dinner was too high in carbs. This could be also be caused by low zinc or conditioned to having something sweet after dinner – psychological vs physiological. We'd recommend a virtual nutrition counseling appointment to help you get to the root of those cravings and kick them for good! Find more info here,https://www.weightandwellness.com/counseling/

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