Can Halloween be Healthy, or Healthy-ish?
By Donna Kostiew
The end of October brings with it the Halloween season. I say “season” because it has really strayed away from being a one-night event … multiple festivities are planned over the course of the month and that orange bucket holding all of the leftover candy lingers around the house for weeks, dragging Halloween into Thanksgiving. Temptations seem to be everywhere: in cute little candy dishes on our co-workers’ desks, lining at least two aisles and every end-cap at our local grocery store, and taunting us from the counters of every store or coffee shop we enter. And if you think you have the willpower to say “no!” to the candy directly, that’s usually the time when a friend stops by with homemade cookies made out of recycled sweets that she overbought for trick-or-treat night.
So what can you do? How can you make this season healthier for you and for all of the ghosts, princesses, and aliens that come to your house? Here are some suggestions for healthier substitutions that you will feel better about choosing and that won’t get your house toilet-papered the next day, either.
No, you don’t need to hand out fully-shelled walnuts or peanuts to achieve this, because if you did, the chances of getting egged are high. Instead, choose candies that contain nuts … Hershey’s Kisses with almonds and Peanut M&M’s are great choices because they will at least provide some protein and vitamins that you won’t get with some of those neon-colored candies. And don't forget the Almond Joy.
Any of the sweets that are made with dark chocolate are a better choice than those made with milk chocolate because they have less added sugar. York Peppermint Patties are a good choice not only because of the dark chocolate but also because they are typically lower in fat than some others.
Organic Fruit Snacks
They satisfy the sweet tooth and are made with real fruit juice and all things good, so offering these can be a great substitute for traditional candy. Plus, they often come in cute seasonal packaging that will “trick” most kids into thinking that they hit the jack-o-lantern jackpot!
Yes, they are still full of sugar, but by the time it takes to finish one of these, the temptation to eat another handful of treats has gone. So instead of eating 10 bite-sized candy bars, you are keeping yourself busy with counting how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
Halloween is a fun time of the year for many reasons: fall festivals, costume creations, haunted hayrides and the return of "Stranger Things." But it’s also the start of the “I need to watch what I am eating” season as well. So indulge yourself. Have a treat or two, but watch what you eat and make some good choices.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pooler, Ga.