Have a Happy, Healthy Halloween

By Carrie Camin
Assistant Vice President, Wellness
Methodist Health System

I know I’m running the risk of being perceived as the witch who wrecked Halloween or the apparition that applied logic to ghoulish fun, but I have a theory. I believe you can celebrate Halloween and fall festivals without consuming a year’s worth of sugar and calories in one night. Having a happy, healthy Halloween is possible, and it doesn’t take a magic potion.

For many, Halloween is the kickoff to a sugary, fat-laden, calorie-crammed holiday season. After all, this is the heyday for the retail season, and delectable temptations are everywhere. The reality is there are ways you and your family can enjoy the seasonal fun while making healthy food choices. Here are a few hints.

Limit your intake. Decide ahead of time what your daily (or weekly) treats will be and how many you’ll have. Decide how much works for you and put the treats in a small ziplock bag so you can control your portions.

Don’t munch mindlessly. Keep Halloween candy out of sight. Keep it in the refrigerator or a hard-to-reach cabinet so you’ll be fully aware of what you’re doing when you grab a couple of pieces.

Stock up on healthy snacks and sugarless gum. Keep sugarless gum and healthy snacks like baby carrots, grapes, apple slices, or popcorn on hand for when you feel like having a snack.

Don’t skip your exercise or outdoor time. Stay active and get a daily dose of sunlight to help keep your mind and body balanced as the days grow shorter.

Avoid the candy creep that occurs around Halloween. If you’re going to give out candy to the trick-or-treaters at your door, buy it on October 31st. Choose candy you don’t like or goodies that are lower in calories and fat. Better candy choices include:

  • Tootsie Pops (60 calories each)
  • Lollipops (50 calories each)
  • Life Savers (10 calories per candy)
  • York Peppermint Pattie Miniatures (50 calories per piece)
  • Nestlé Crunch bars (60 calories for fun size bar)
  • Quaker Chewy Mini Granola Bar (60 calories)
  • Nabisco Teddy Grahams (60 calories for fun size pack)

Better yet, cruise past the candy aisle and buy pencils, stickers, gum, and other nonfood items to distribute. Get rid of any leftovers immediately. Crunching on Halloween candy through Christmas isn’t a pretty picture for you or your well-being.

Methodist Health System supports our employees’ efforts to make healthy food choices. We include healthy recipes on the wellness page of our employee intranet site, and we just opened cooking light cooking stations in the cafeterias at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Richardson Medical Centers.

If you’re looking to nourish your career in a healthy environment, then it’s time to choose Methodist. And have a happy, healthy Halloween! Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System