What’s not to love about Halloween? Crazy costumes, jack o’ lanterns, pumpkin spice, a chance to hog the candy without judgmental looks.. Yep, Halloween is equally loved by children and adults alike, with the Trick or Treat evening ending in an enviable stash of sugar-filled goodies. Although candy is delicious and we can’t possibly imagine Halloween without it, we all know that too much sugar is detrimental for us in the long run. We can’t very well ban sweets altogether and start handing out carrot sticks and celery to kids, but it’s absolutely possible to include healthy treats along with the carbs. This is especially helpful for kids who are allergic to ingredients like nuts and chocolate, which are commonly present in Halloween candy, as it doesn’t make them feel left out of all the fun.
A good way to give Halloween snacks a healthy twist is to make fruit and vegetable based themed treats. There are dozens of healthy fall treat recipes available online, some specifically for Halloween and some for the entire fall season, so get those fibers and vitamins into your 31st night treats as well. It’s a good idea to make your own treats and snacks from fresh and genuine ingredients, rather than buying ones which contain a ton of artificial additives and processed sugars. There are also many easy recipes if you’re a klutz in the kitchen, or short on time, or just plain lazy. The most simple one I’ve ever seen till date is the Monster-In-A-Cup recipe. It’s healthy (depending on what you use as the filling!), tasty, ridiculously easy to make, needs no fancy prep, and you can put whatever main filling you want – sliced fruit, flavored pudding, yogurt, literally anything you want. Another fun idea is to make popcorn, and mix in some candy afterwards; this way, you’re not gorging on an entire heap of sugar at once.
Candy is quick to affect the teeth and potentially lead to cavities, so if you must force kids to do something this Halloween, force them to brush and floss their teeth thoroughly after they’ve satisfied their candy cravings for the night. It also helps to drink water regularly over the course of the day and rinse the mouth a few times to prevent the sugar from sticking to your teeth.
Fall and Halloween are incomplete without pumpkins, and a great way to stay healthy while getting into the Halloween spirit is to incorporate more pumpkin in your diet. And not the artificial pumpkin spice flavoring (looking at you, Starbucks)! Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, antioxidants and fiber, and have a low calorie content as well. This means they keep you fuller for longer, preventing hunger cravings and unhealthy snacking. The Vitamin A helps in maintaining good vision and healthy skin, teeth and bones. Pumpkin oil helps reduce hypertension, and pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which aids in serotonin production; serotonin is the neurotransmitter that improves your mood and makes you feel relaxed. Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of beta-carotene and other antioxidants which help prevent cancer.
Pumpkins are not just meant to be used in that lovely pumpkin pie; they make good additions to roasted vegetables in the form of chunks, and to salads in the form of seeds. You can incorporate it into your morning smoothie, flavor your yogurt with it, or even add it in your muffin batter. So don’t just carve your pumpkins this fall, eat them too!
Considering a balanced diet? Join the Fibrasina movement today and aim for a healthier tomorrow.