Before you dip into that stash of Halloween candy hanging around the house or office, consider this: one “fun size” Baby Ruth bar contains 130 calories and seven grams of fat!
With Halloween just a few days away, even the most health conscious eaters will be faced with the temptation to overindulge. Maryann Codd, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., pediatric outpatient dietician at Cooper University Hospital, offers some advice for maintaining healthy eating habits during this difficult time of year.
“Today’s families are very busy, so unfortunately a lot of thought does not go into what treats are given to children, especially at Halloween,” says Codd. “People tend to buy big bags of “fun size” candies because they’re convenient and cheap, not realizing how many calories are in each bite-sized snack.”
A few healthy treats to hand out to children that won’t disappoint include individual bags of pretzels, popcorn, animal crackers and Goldfish crackers. In addition, 100 calorie cookies and snack mix bags make a great choice.
“After children finish Trick-or-Treating, parents should have them choose a few pieces of their favorite candy and store it somewhere out of reach. The rest should be removed from the home – and I don’t advise bringing it to work!” adds Codd.
She says giving kids a piece or two of their “saved” candy for dessert or a treat for the week or two after Halloween is perfectly reasonable.
If your child has diabetes, Codd urges you to consult his or her physician regarding insulin coverage. The doctor can recommend the amount of candy that can be consumed without drastically raising sugar levels.
So what should you do with the unwanted candy? “Check with your church or local grammar school to see if a post-Halloween Candy Drive is planned,” she says. “Some organizations gladly accept ‘extra’ Halloween candy and ship it to soldiers serving overseas or donate it to needy or sick children. If not, be a leader and organize a candy drive yourself!”