Turn Your Halloween Candy Into A Nutritious Treat!

The average American eats 24.7 pounds of candy each year. Most candy contains high quantities of sugar with nothing but calories and no nutritional value. Here’s a quick little breakdown of Halloween candy calorie content that might make you rethink opening that wrapper this year …

Starbursts: 8 pieces = 160 calories — instead you could be eating one medium apple with 1 tbsp. of peanut butter!

York Peppermint Patties: 3 miniatures = 150 calories — instead you could be eating 3 cups of air-popped popcorn with 1 tbsp. of Parmesan cheese

Brach’s Candy Corn: 19 pieces = 140 calories — instead have a 6 oz. low fat yogurt with half a cup of blueberries and you will still be saving 20 calories.

Reese’s King Size Peanut Butter Pumpkins: 2 cups = 350 calories — instead try eating a nutritious meal of 6 oz. of grilled chicken, 1 cup of green beans, 2 tsp. of butter, 1 small tossed salad with 2 tbsp. of low-fat dressing,

Caramel Apples: 1 apple = 250-350 calories — instead you could be eating a whole meal of 2 oz. of tuna fish with 2 tsp. of light mayonnaise, with one 4 inch pita with 1/2 cup of spinach. This all could be served with an apple and 1 oz. of baked tortilla chips!

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate: 3 snack size bars = 190 calories — Instead you could be eating 10 baby carrots and 2 tbsp. of hummus and save yourself 20 calories.

Tootsie Rolls: 6 pieces = 140 calories –instead reach for a whole grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon of fruit spread and you will still be saving yourself 10 calories!

Skittles: 1 regular pack = 250 calories — instead you can eat an entire meal of 1 egg, 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tsp. of butter, and 1 cup of strawberries.

calsPhoto credit: www.redbookmag.com

Say NO To The Candy!

“An estimated 600 million pounds of Halloween candy is purchased in the U.S. each year – that’s an average of about two pounds of candy per person.”

Try these strategies to stop your sugar cravings:

  • Completely cut it out of your diet: Sugary sweets and other processed carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream almost immediately, causing a rapid rise then crash of blood sugar, insulin, and energy. The result: We continue to look for more sugar! This might not be an easy thing for most of us, but be patient because it can take up to days or several weeks for cravings to disappear.
  • Read labels: Even if you think something is healthy or appears to be healthy, it can still be loaded with sugars. Whole grain breakfast cereals, cartons of low-fat flavored yogurt, granola bars, 100% fruit juice etc, are all loaded with sugars that can be hidden.
  • Try cutting back on alternative sweeteners it may train your taste buds and brains to become acclimated to intensely super-sweet foods and drinks.
  • Protein, protein, protein: Incorporating enough protein – particularly at breakfast – can help to curb cravings, burn more calories, and consume fewer calories throughout the day.
  • Keep a glass of water by your side at all times: One of the first signs of being even slightly dehydrated is fatigue, and when that sleepiness hits, we most likely turn to sugar for a quick pick-me-up.
  • SLEEP, DREAM, NAP: Studies have consistently shown that lack of sleep can negatively impact hormones that regulate our appetite and blood sugar levels.

So, when you go to pick up that piece of candy or sugary food.. think twice! The sugar will make it hard to just eat one.. it will have you wanting to come back for more! You have control, you can control your diet and how you feel!

For more information: http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2012/11/cant_stop_eating_halloween_can.html  Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans

This Halloween..

  • Stock up at the last minute on candy. The longer the candy is in your house, the more likely it is that everyone will sample it before the big day.
  • Buy candy you don’t like. This way you’re not tempted to eat it before or after Halloween
  • When kids return home from trick-or-treating, have them set up the candy into 2 piles of what they like and what they don’t like to make sure the don’t like pile gets out of the house. This reminds your children that when they do indulge in sweet treats, they will actually enjoy it and not mindlessly eat all of their candy.
  • Consider a candy buyback http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com
  • Send sweets to troops.  Ship Halloween candy to military personnel overseas. http://www.operationgratitude.com
  • Give away prizes or small toys instead of candy!

For more information: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-halloween-20121027,0,563140.story By Dana Sullivan Kilroy

Downsizing Candy Bars, But Will We Eat Less?

Mars candy bars will soon stop selling chocolate bars in portions larger than 250 calories, but will this stop the amount the public is consuming?

On Tuesday, February 14th, Mars Inc. made a promise to “fix” it’s chocolate products so no portion is more than 250 calories by the end of the year 2013. In other words, this means that chocolate bars will get smaller and some bars will be divided into 2 servings in one package to make it more known to the public that there is more than one serving of chocolate in one package. Studies have shown that eating from smaller packages increases awareness of portion size.

In my opinion, I believe that this a very good idea. I believe that we need to be more aware of the portion sizes we are eating. Chocolate is okay to eat in moderation, as long as we can limit our portion sizes. I think this will open people’s eyes up to what they are consuming while on the other hand, I’m sure people will still eat more than their supposed to be eating without looking at the nutrition facts or even the package.

What are your thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Will this make you consume less chocolate? Or will it make you buy double to equal what your used to eating?

Halloween Treats!

I recently read an article that was very interesting about halloween. I felt this was necessary since it’s that time of the year again! Here are some healthy Halloween tips in order to stop overindulging in the candy…

Setting a limit on halloween treats is important, especially for children. One or two treats a day is reasonable according to dietitian Kim Kramer. It’s important for parents to be involved in following the same rules they set for their children as well as explain to them the reasoning behind it.

Halloween Healthy tips:

  • Keep the candy out of reach of your children. Allow them to have a couple treats after dinner each week
  • Offer incentives such as trading in a certain amount of candy can get them a book or small present they want
  • Hand out healthier treats such as 100 calorie snack bags or hand out halloween pencils, erasers, stickers or tattoos!
  • Avoid sugar-free candies. These can lead to bloating and cramping
  • Another alternative to candy bars is snack-sized granola bars
  • Don’t overbuy at the store. Take any leftover candy to work or give it away to someone else!
  • Keep moving! Don’t let Halloween get you off track of being healthy and exercising!