Happy, Healthy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! Most families feel the same way but fear the inevitable bags of corn-syrup laden confections and subsequent post-candy meltdowns. However, it is possible to enjoy the holiday while minimizing the damage to teeth, tummies and mom’s last nerve.

  1. Trade in the bag of candy for a special treat. After allowing kids to pick out 10-20 pieces of their favorite candy, trade out the candy for a more tangible treat. Sort of like the tooth fairy, the Halloween Candy Fairy (or the Great Pumpkin, or whatever you want to name your new candy-craving creature) comes in the night and trades in the bags of candy for a cool basket of goodies. New books, art supplies, holiday-themed pajamas or gift certificates to movies or a favorite restaurant are all good options.
  2. Host a Halloween feast. There is nothing worse then a bunch of sugar on an empty stomach. Prior to trick or treating, have family and friends come over for a warming, Autumn meal. Serve hearty, protein-rich dishes with fun and spooky themes. Check out blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2011/10/healthy-halloween/ for recipes. A pre-treat meal will cut down on sugar induced highs and lows.
  3. Choose the lesser evil. Look to minimize artificial colors and flavors. Choose real sugar over corn syrup (or heaven forbid atificial sweeteners). Dark chocolate is always a good bet. Homemade snacks made with real ingredients are an even better way to celebrate the holiday season. Check out this fabulous recipe for raw caramel and apples (www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/09/raw-caramel-dip-for-apples.html) or maple carmel corn (http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/12/maple-caramel-corn.html)!

Don’t forget to relax and have fun. Most kiddos can handle a few days of junk. Do some damage control, offer healthy options and enjoy. Have a happy, healthy, Halloween!

Dr C

PS For parents and other folks that get to carried away with holiday treats check out my nutritional cleanse program offered in partnership with Root Yoga (www.rootyogacenter.com/nutrition/)!

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