Halloween Events

Message from the RDs: 5 Ways Your Family Can Enjoy a Healthier Halloween by Alicia Huggler

Halloween Events

Fall is here and one of the best things about fall is Halloween! While it is a fun holiday for you and your kids to enjoy, it may turn into endless candy eating, which can leave you feeling sluggish and full of guilt. Listed below are 5 tips to help you and your kids enjoy the holiday season without completing derailing your health goals.

Treat Halloween like any other day

If you have kids or you are a kid at heart, be sure to treat Halloween like any other day. Don’t skip meals (see below for a healthy dinner recipe to enjoy before trick-or-treating), partake in at least 30 minutes-1 hour of exercise (tip: you can do this easily by walking your trick or treaters around the block instead of driving), and drink water throughout the day!

Use Moderation

If it is hard to resist temptation, buy candy the day before Halloween. This can prevent you from munching on Halloween candy all month long. Also, try buying candy you don’t like (i.e. Candy Corn ;)).

If you have kids, have them sort out Halloween candy at the end of the night. Kids should have 1 pile of candy that they want to moderately enjoy for 1-2 weeks, and another pile should be used to donate (see tip below). Teach children moderation by offering them 1-3 small pieces to enjoy for a few days so they don’t feel deprived, and can learn about balancing fruit/vegetable intake with other foods that aren’t as healthy.

Donate

There are several places that offer a “Halloween candy buy back” program. Check out the website (http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/) for a location near you. Most of the locations are dentist offices that buy children’s Halloween candy to help prevent them from getting cavities. Also, the candy is usually donated to troops overseas!

Focus on Other Fall Festivities

Halloween is fun, but there are other fun activities you and your family can enjoy this fall besides trick-or-treating. Try pumpkin or apple picking, pumpkin decorating, roast leftover pumpkin seeds, or create fun costumes for your family to wear on Halloween.

***Roasting Pumpkin Seeds: Rinse pumpkin seeds to remove pulp and strings. Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle a small amount of olive oil over seeds. Bake at 325°F for about 30 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir occasionally during cooking. Take a look at your spice rack and try a seasoning on your toasted seeds such as garlic powder or Cajun seasoning! Recipe from: eatright.org

Become part of the Teal Pumpkin Project

Become a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project by putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep. This simple act means you have non-food treats available for trick-or-treaters who have food allergies. Offer items such as as glow sticks or small toys. See https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project for more information.

Try this Recipe! Stuffed Pepper Jack-O-Lanterns

Ingredients

  • 6 large bell peppers (yellow and orange)
  • 1 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (24 oz)
  • ½ cup long grain rice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (try 2% reduced fat cheese!)

Serves: 6 people

Instructions

  1. Cut the tops from the peppers (and cut out triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and mouth) and remove the seeds and flesh from both the inside and top of the peppers.
  2. Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet until the meat is browned and the onions are tender.
  3. Add the can of diced tomatoes (don’t drain it), uncooked rice, water, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese.
  6. Fill the peppers with a generous amount of filling. Add the tops back on the peppers once they are stuffed.
  7. Place in a baking dish with about ¼” of water on the bottom (it will depend on how big your dish is).
  8. Cover with tin foil and bake immediately at 400F for 30 minutes.
  9. If refrigerated first, bake, covered at 400F for 45 to 55 minutes or until peppers are soft, and filling is heated through.

Recipe from: http://onelittleproject.com/stuffed-pepper-jack-o-lanterns/