Oct 20, 2023 Having a Healthier Halloween with Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center

Halloween is a day full of costumes, pumpkins, parties, and of course, lots of candy. While it may not be the most nutritious snack, telling your kids that they can’t have candy on Halloween will likely not go over well.

Instead of dreading the bottomless candy bag, Lauren Crosta, MS, RD, a Clinical Dietician with Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, provides the following tips on how to prepare your family for a healthy, happy Halloween.

Getting Active. Halloween season is full of outdoor activities that are sure to get the whole family up on their feet. Whether it is playing in leaves, pumpkin picking, or wandering corn mazes, fall is a great time to spend time outdoors being active. Recommendations for physical activity include at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per day for children, and 150 minutes per week for adults.

Fill Up on Dinner. Start Halloween night off right with a well-balanced, fiber-rich meal that will be sure to keep you full all night long. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain products making them easy additions to any meal. This nutrient keeps us fuller for longer, which not only prevents mindless snacking and overindulging while trick-or-treating, but also provides steady energy to lessen the blow of a sugar-crash.

Prepare the House. When it comes to Halloween candy lurking around the house for months on end, be prepared with other sweet options for snacking. Keep fresh fruit in the line-of-sight and ready-to-eat whenever possible to encourage you and your littles to reach for those options first. Keeping candy and sweets stored away and out of reach may help prevent mindless snacking and filling up on candy instead of nutritious foods.

Learning Opportunity. Halloween is a great opportunity to teach your kids about moderation and healthy eating. It's important to remember that Halloween is only one day a year, and what we eat every day has a bigger impact on overall health. Whether it’s teaching your kids how to build a healthy dinner plate or explaining what serving sizes are and how they relate to candy, use this food-focused holiday to explain the importance of moderation and balance.

Just because it’s the holiday season does not mean our health and nutrition needs to be compromised. Food is socially, culturally, and emotionally tied, making our diet the center of our lives. Following a healthy diet comes down to moderation and balance, which includes holidays and all the foods associated with them.

Learn more about Nutrition Counseling Services available at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.