Healthy Halloween: Keeping the Sugar Frenzy to a Minimum
Goblins and ghouls and ghosts—oh my! While Halloween might evoke thoughts of haunted houses and creepy monsters, the scariest thing about October 31 might just be the amount of processed sugar your kids (and let’s face it—YOU) end up eating. That’s why This Week’s blog post explores the healthiest options when trick-or-treating, ways to enjoy nutritious (and decorative) pumpkins, and the benefits of orange-colored fall foods. So light up the jack o’lantern and get ready for a fun and flavorful All Hallows’ Eve.
Can trick-or-treating be part of a healthy Halloween?
While it might be impossible to avoid the inevitable sugar frenzy when your kids go trick-or-treating, there are some ways to help keep the damage minimal. First, eat a light meal before trick-or-treating, which can help reduce overindulgence. Opt for sugar-free lollipops and gum if given a choice, both of which take time to enjoy and stimulate saliva production—which can discourage plaque build-up on your teeth. Popcorn is a filling fiber-rich treat at 3 grams per serving. And if you just can’t stay away from the chocolate, throw in some exercise—such as a few extra laps around the block—to burn off those calories. For more tips for a safe and healthy night of trick-or-treating, take our featured quiz.
Can you eat that jack o’lantern?
Probably not. The large pumpkins sold for carving those fun and scary Halloween faces are usually too watery and stringy for baking—though you can definitely boost your zinc intake by collecting and roasting the seeds. Smaller varieties—such as sugar pumpkins or Cinderellas—are perfect for baking into delicious pumpkin pies. These pumpkins weigh about 3-6 pounds and provide a healthy dose of fiber—great for stabilizing blood sugar and keeping the colon healthy. So bust out your carving knives or roasting pans and learn more about this nutritious holiday favorite by taking our daily quiz.
Trade your glasses—for carrots?
Well almost, since your healthy Halloween dinner probably contains quite a few festive fall ingredients that can boost eye health. Many orange foods such as carrots are well known for being rich in beta-carotene—a precursor to vitamin A that helps keeps your vision sharp. Butternut squash—a fall soup favorite—is full of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that also aid in eye health. Roast up some sweet potatoes for an additional boost of eye health-promoting vitamins and antioxidants. For more festive and healthy Halloween dinner options, take our daily quiz on orange-colored foods.
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