Oct 31, 2023

Have a Happy (and Healthy!) Halloween

Healthy Living.

Happy Halloween from Crisp Regional Hospital! Tonight, children across the country will dress up and go house-to-house, filling their trick-or-treat bags with candy. Though occasionally enjoying a few pieces of candy is okay (especially on an occasion like Halloween!), we must consider the long-term effects of excessive sugar consumption on our children.

Here are some doctor-approved alternatives to traditional Halloween candy that can keep the fun alive while promoting better health!

Why Opt for Non-Candy Alternatives for Halloween?

Each year, American children consume startling amounts of sugar and are often given artificial sweeteners (sugar added to foods for flavor). In addition to obesity, tooth decay, and an increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, excessive sugar consumption can lead to various health issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle while enjoying the festivities!

Doctor-Approved Halloween Treat Alternatives

Fruit Snacks

Instead of sugary candy, opt for fruit snacks and fruit leather made from real fruit without added sugars. These treats offer a natural sweet taste without the added refined sugars and artificial flavors found in many candies.

Dark Chocolate

If you want to satisfy a chocolate craving, choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more). Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate and provides antioxidants that can benefit overall health.

Trail Mix

Buy small pre-made sealed packs of trail mix with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a hint of dark chocolate chips. It’s a balanced and energy-packed snack that can keep kids fueled during their Halloween adventures.

Mini Popcorn Bags

Small, individually portioned, and sealed bags of air-popped or lightly seasoned popcorn make for a tasty and satisfying treat without excessive calories or sugar.

Non-Food Treats

Consider handing out non-food items like stickers, temporary tattoos, mini toys, or glow sticks. These alternatives can be just as exciting for kids and are free from added sugars.

Yogurt-Covered Raisins or Pretzels

These snacks offer a combination of sweet and salty flavors while containing less sugar than traditional candy-coated treats.

Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum can be an excellent alternative, as it can help satisfy the desire for something sweet without the harmful effects of sugar.

Fruit Cups

Individual servings of fresh fruit cups with no added sugars are a convenient and healthier option for Halloween treats.

Mini Cheese Packs

Cheese sticks or small cheese portions can be a unique and satisfying option that provides protein and calcium.

Encouraging Healthy Habits Every Day of the Year

While indulging in the occasional candy treat is okay, it’s crucial to instill healthy habits from a young age that you follow every single day – this creates a habit. Halloween offers a fantastic opportunity to teach children about moderation and the importance of making nutritious choices. Parents can take the lead by discussing the potential consequences of excessive sugar consumption and providing healthier alternatives like the ones mentioned above. Have a Happy (and Healthy) Halloween!

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