Is Halloween a fabulously fun event at your house or a total nightmare? It could be either one according to your perspective and experience. On the one hand it can be lots of fun for the kids with costuming, using creativity and imagination, parties to go to, making Jack-O-Lanterns, and maybe trick or treating and even if you don’t have kids, many adults enjoy these same aspects of Halloween. On the other hand, Halloween usually means lots and lots of SUGAR and that can be a nightmare especially for families that stress healthy eating. You and your children can still enjoy Halloween though without the sugar highs and lows by using a few of these Halloween tips and making some healthy Halloween treats.
Healthy Planning Before Halloween
Start out with a plan to at least cut down on some of the sugar that comes with Halloween. This plan could be that instead of trick-or-treating, you get together with a social group or other families that encourage healthy eating and have a Halloween party. Then instead of the typical candy associated with Halloween, offer healthy fun Halloween snacks. You’ll find a ton of them on the internet. One of the cutest I saw lately was cutting a banana in half by width and using raisins for eyes and mouth to make ghosts. From there you can always use oranges or Cuties to make pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns, round cheese and pretzels to put together a spider and lots more. Just use your imagination or put out a variety of healthy foods and let the kids make a party game out of coming up with their own scary creations. With a party you can obviously control the sugar intake much easier, but some families just love the tradition of trick-or-treating. That’s Ok too. There are still ways to make a plan to cut down on sugar. First, make sure you and/or your child eats a good healthy meal before hitting the streets. That will help cut down on snacking between houses. Even better, make a rule that nothing gets eaten until you get home. That is a good rule for all sorts of safety reasons these days as candy can be tampered with. At our house the rule was that Mom had to inspect all candy and anything looking suspicious, tampered with or open went in the trash. I always had some extra dollar store toys or healthier treats to trade for anything I felt needed to be thrown away. In your plan include an explanation of why your family chooses to eat healthy and decide together on a reasonable amount of candy that can be collected. Anything over that amount can maybe be saved for a later time or given away or just plain thrown out. Again you can cut down on disappointment and arguments by having some healthy treats or small toys to “trade”. My grandson has severe food allergies and therefore our routine at Halloween was for his mom to take him trick-or-treating and save my house for last. I would have special treats that he could eat or little toys for me to trade him for the candy with nuts or milk products that he could not eat. He always thought that was special and we never had any problem getting him to trade. Once you set an amount of candy that is appropriate within your family, stick to the plan. Let the children decide which pieces they will keep and which they will get rid of to help them feel a part of the process.
Catching Up After Halloween
Even if you are trying to lose weight it’s OK to have an occasional splurge. That leaves your body not feeling deprived and will actually support your weight loss plan instead of sabotaging it. So count Halloween as a splurge and the day after get yourself back on track with your healthy eating plan right away. Be sure you drink lots of water the next day to help rid your body of the excess sugar and other indulgences. For the next few days really pack your meals and snacks with lots of good veggies and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins. Make time to fit in some extra exercise too so that you boost your metabolism and sweat out the unhealthy stuff. Really get your body right back on craving the healthy foods instead of sugary and fatty foods. Microalgae can also help you do this as shown through studies done in the 1980s that reported eating bluegreen algae helped improved insulin resistance, improved the uptake of glucose, regulated cholesterol, increased protection with antioxidants which reduced oxidative stress, and improved blood lipid profiles. Studies such as these have long found that many green plants including algae have insulin-like antigens that are able to decrease blood glucose levels and help blood sugar levels stay more stable. Since algae is loaded with minerals, antioxidants, soluble fibers, amino acids, essential fatty acids and tons of healthy nutrients, it can help support your body with healthy nutrition before Halloween and after. After a sugar splurge you also want to be sure to beef up your probiotics as sugar is detrimental to those friendly bacteria we depend on for digestive and immune health. Acidophilus is one of the most effective probiotics for battling sugar side effects, and supports the health of the small intestine. Bifidus is another helpful probiotic, and supports the health of the large intestine. The easiest way to get all the good nutrition from AFA bluegreen algae, probiotics and digestive enzymes to help your digestive system survive your sugar splurge is with these convenient packets that include them all. Start taking them before Halloween hits and continue once Halloween is over.
Halloween doesn’t have to be so scary with thoughts of sugar and fat ruining your diet or healthy eating plan. Just get a Halloween plan made and use some of these support ideas to help your family have a fun and safe Halloween this year.
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Bruno, PhD, Jeffrey, Eat Light and Feel Bright