Healthy Halloween – Healthier Candy Choices
The holidays are a time filled with fun, family, and sugary-filled indulgence. However, when left unchecked, that indulgence will lead to seriously unhealthy habits. So, what can you do, when you want to enjoy your holidays? What about your kids, who just went door to door gathering a bag full of candy? You don’t want them to learn unhealthy habits, but you don’t want to deny them the fun of trick or treating.
Now is the perfect time to educate your children on the principle of moderation and nutritional content. Here are a few tips that you could share with your kids when they are going through that sweet loot.
Embrace the Dark
The darker the chocolate, the more likely antioxidants are involved. Also, the darker the chocolate, the more likely any craving for chocolate is satisfied earlier on. If you want to introduce dark chocolate to your child, I wouldn’t jump from 80 to 90% dark cocoa right away. Children’s taste buds are sensitive, and dark chocolate is bitter. I would at least swap out the regular milk chocolate Hersheys for the dark chocolate version. Let them work up to something darker over time.
Unless your child is allergic to nuts, this would be a great way to introduce a little extra protein in your child’s diet. The nuts in something like a fun-sized Snickers or an Almond Joy also contain a certain amount of healthy fats, which may displace the sugar.
Encourage candy choices with fruit juice or dried fruit in them. In moderation, dried fruit can help keep the pounds off, and it can double the antioxidant boost if the dried fruit is dark chocolate covered. Jelly Bellys are also made with pureed fruit, making it a healthier candy choice as well.
Be a Sucker
While Tootsie Pops and Carmel Apple Suckers contain 10 grams of sugar, it still needs to be taken into account that lollipops and suckers take a long time to consume. After just having one, people are usually satisfied with the sugar craving, which is better than eating multiple bars of chocolate.
Chew on It
Candies that are chewy take time to consume, much like the lollipops that I mentioned earlier. What’s more, Twizzlers and Jelly Bellies have a low-fat content.
Limited consumption of two or three fun sized bags or bars, depending on what the serving calls for, can help you or your child slow down and take stock of how much you are eating and how many you are unwrapping.