Have a Healthier Halloween!

Halloween (my favorite holiday!) always gets a bad rap for leading to cavities and candy binges.  However, it is entirely possible to have a healthy haunting season by making some smart choices!

Here are a few healthy Halloween tips:
1. Try buying candy you and your family DON’T like as the sweets for trick-or-treaters. 
2. The snack-size candy bars can be a great portion control, as long as you can resist temptation and keep it to one or two pieces.  If not, best to just not buy them in the first place. 
3.  Bake up some pumpkin seeds to munch on while acting as candy-distributer.  Pumpkin seeds are packed with a ton of vitamins and minerals and have been linked to lower cholesterol and prostate health.
4. Get active by spending a day at a pumpkin patch or corn maze, raking leaves or stuffing your own scarecrow!
5. Enjoy candy in moderation: separate out your favorites and dispose of the rest!
6. Get rid of extra unwanted candy to programs like Operation Shoebox, which sends care packages to U.S. troops all over the world.
7.  Protect your pearly whites by brushing and flossing after having your treats!

It’s good to know you can indulge without blowing your daily caloric budget, so I’ve included some lower calorie candy options below:

Lollipops: Dum Dum’s ~25 calories each, Tootsie-Pop ~60 calories each
Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses: 180 calories for 9 kisses
York Peppermint Patties: 1 Large Patty= 140 calories or 3 miniatures= 150 calories
Twizzlers(or other Licorice): 4 Twists (strawberry)= 160 calories
Swedish Fish: 140 calories for 19 fish
Sugar-Free Gum: ~5 calories for 1 piece

Straight from the Farm

Farmer’s Markets are great venues for finding locally grown produce.  The foods are almost always more fresh, nutritious and delicious than larger grocery stores and many times cost less!  Another popular trend is joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Essentially, you buy a “share” from a local farmer and receive a weekly supply of seasonal produce.  Both farmers and share-holders are subject to risks and benefits of the program.  However, CSA’s are beneficial to the enviornment and allow for a connection between the farmer growing the food and the individuals who are consuming it.  They also allow families an opportunity to introduce new foods and healthy cooking options.
Farmer’s Market in West New York, NJ
October 2010
Find a CSA or Farmer’s Market near you by checking out LocalHarvest!