Halloween The Healthy Way
Even now, Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays; I guess I’m just a kid at heart. Although I’m no longer the kid that could sit down and eat half my Halloween booty in one night, I’m still known to raid my kids bag to find my childhood favorites. But now-a-days I go for the healthier treats to eat and to give out.
Today, our first concerns are about safety and childhood obesity, I like to offer options of treats that are more along the lines of low-calorie and low-fat. Besides the fact that many of these treats kids love, they also make great snacks for their lunch boxes.
Treats to Give
-Here are some ideas of health conscience treats to get you started:
-Cheese and cracker packages (look for low-sodium)
-Juice box packages (100%)
-Small packages of nuts or raisins
-Package of instant cocoa mix
-Peanuts in the shell
-Snack size microwave popcorn (low-sodium)
-Goldfish crackers snack packages
You could also consider giving some non-food treats, such as stickers, crayons, pencils, colored chalk, erasers, small games, baseball cards, ponytail holders, rubber insects or worms. A few times when I ran out of treats I even gave out money (change) but with today’s economy a little won’t go a long way and you might need that money for gas.
Trick-or-Treating To help fight the temptation of digging into their goodie bag before they get home, you want to make sure children eat a meal or snack before going trick-or-treating. When children return home, check the treats and keep only treats which are unopened. Be sure to inspect fruits and homemade goods for anything suspicious. (Unfortunately, I usually throw these treats away unless I know who they came from) It’s better to eat trick-or-treat candy over several weeks as a substitute for dessert or a few pieces along with a healthy snack. Halloween Party If you’ve opted for a Halloween party instead of, or before trick-or-treating this can be a lot of fun. Reduce safety concerns and be nutritious as well. I know for any event with kids Pizza is always a favorite, it’s easy, it serves many and the kids love it. For Halloween why not put a spin on it and let the kids help make their own. Mini Pizzas; Let kids arrange sliced olives, green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, and other things on English muffins or bagels brushed with tomato sauce. Top with grated cheese and heat in the microwave or oven until the cheese melts. They can even make pizza faces and use the cheese for hair. Treats for your party could include colored popcorn, apples with peanut butter, frozen grapes, carrot and celery sticks with fun dips with names like witches brew and goblins goo, spider crackers; two Ritz crackers, with peanut butter, small pretzel sticks as spider legs, and two raisins with a little peanut butter to stick to the cracker as eyes, banana or apple chips, string cheese, low-fat or non-fat ice cream with chocolate syrup and scary worms on top. The key to a healthy Halloween Party or any kids’ party is to watch portion sizes and adjusting the focus from foods to activities.
Have fun and don’t forget the scary music!
Chef Andre Carthen a.k.a. the Fit Chef, is featured in Kathy Ireland’s book “Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity,” and Janet Jackson’s first book, NY Times #1 Best Seller “True You” where he contributed over 30 recipes for a healthy meal plan.
“True You” takes Celebrity Chef Andre’s exquisite recipes and transforms them into something anyone can do if they have a desire to stay healthy and lean while eating the foods they love. Chef Andre is the only African American to be appointed to the Nutrisystem Success Chef’s Council. Recently asked to be the guest chef for St. John’s Hospital’s Gala “Beyond the Stars” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
He is often asked to bring his culinary awareness to the media and has appeared on popular radio & television programs like “Today Show,” “Access Hollywood”, “Anderson Cooper”, “Soap Talk”, “EXTRA”, “Inside Hollywood”, “Black Hollywood Live”, “Sunday Dinner”, “Brave Heart Women”, “Healthy Women Healthy World”, “Get Real Live”, Breakfast Television / City TV”, “New Day Northwest”, “Walking on Eggs”, “On the Red Carpet” …
…and has appeared in Forbes, Cuisine Noir, USA Today, Palm Springs Life, Media Planet- USA Today, MetroSource, The Standard, Desert Sun, Desert Out, and Furniture Today.
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