Have a nutritious Halloween

Have a nutritious Halloween
Dietician Mary Jones Verbovski suggests handing out glow-in-the dark bracelets instead of candy. Courtesy Flickr user Deb Nystrom.

Halloween doesn't have a reputation for being the healthiest holiday. Instead, trick-or-treating traditions conjure up images of children gorging themselves on candy. But Seattle Children’s Hospital dietician Mary Jones Verbovski has offered some tips for making Halloween a little more nutritious this year. And don’t worry – you’ll still get to shout “Trick or treat!”

Eat before trick-or-treating. Before heading out to trick-or-treat, serve a healthy meal so children aren’t as hungry when they start collecting bagfuls of candy. When they are finished trick-or-treating, they’ll also be less likely to overindulge in candy if their tummies are full.

“Eat a meal that incorporates protein and some fat before trick-or-treating. Foods like pizza, chili or grilled cheese are a good choice because the density of the foods offsets the sugar spike from the candy,” said Jones Verbovski.

Pick a smaller candy bag. By choosing a smaller candy bag for children, it will fill up faster, kids will collect less candy and they’ll eat it more sparingly. After a few days, get the candy bag or Halloween bucket out of the house and adjust back to a routine of healthy eating. After all, more holidays are on the way.

Find many more tips and fun alternatives to candy at the Seattle Children’s blog.