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Tasty Tuesday by Anna Grindeland, RD, CD: What do you mean by a 'healthy Halloween'?

Anna Grindeland, RD, CD

In two weeks, just as you are sitting down to a nice dinner at home, the doorbell will ring. It will be little witches and princesses and ninjas, all demanding that you fill their bags with treats and goodies. What are you going to give out this year? Peanut Butter cups? Snickers bars? Or are you one of the brave souls that hands out tiny boxes of Raisins to disgusted Ninja Turtles and Clowns? (If you are, I commend your efforts). Halloween is and should be all about the kids enjoying themselves and being rewarded for their efforts to put together the perfect costume that makes them look JUST LIKE Elsa from Frozen.

Unfortunately, Halloween can be an extremely stressful day for parents of kids with food allergies. It is estimated that food allergies affect 15 million Americans and 1 in every 13 Kids. Although the prevalence of allergies continues to rise, the most common allergens remain to be: PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, MILK, EGGS, WHEAT, and SOY—all common ingredients in commercial candies. Some allergic reactions can even result in potentially deadly anaphylaxis. That's why the Non-Profit Food Allergy and Research Education has started The Teal Pumpkin Project, a movement to encourage people to "Treat" with non-food and allergen-free items.

Find out more about the project here: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project.

Here are some inexpensive--Guaranteed to keep your pumpkins from being smashed--Trick or Treat Ideas that can be found at your local dollar store, party store, or online in bulk:

  • Glow Sticks-- Kids of all ages can't help but be mesmerized by these, plus helps keep them safe on the dark roads.
  • Sticky eye balls-- Sure to provide endless fun until it ends up stuck to the ceiling.
  • Bouncy Balls –I bought a bag on Amazon of glow in the dark eyeball bouncy balls last year, and they were a huge hit.
  • Funny glasses
  • Bubbles
  • Stick-on tattoos
  • Plastic vampire teeth--A classic.
  • Quarters. There's no gift like a couple of George's $$

DID YOU KNOW?? Facts to chew on….

  • 4% of all candy consumption occurs on Halloween day and mostly by children, according to this article.
  • Dental cavities are largely preventable, yet they continue to be the most common chronic disease in American children, according to the CDC
  • Decreasing consumption of sugars is the only non-dentist approach to preventing cavities.
  • Each "fun sized" candy bar can pack up to 100 extra calories.

Have a Happy and Healthy one!

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The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.