Don't Let Halloween Derail Your Diet
Here Are Some Tips to Keep You on Track
Did you know that the US Census Bureau estimates that a large portion of the 25 pounds of candy consumed annually by each American happens around Halloween? Scary, but true! To help you stay focused and keep you on track this Halloween, consider these tips.
Go for Low-Cal Candy
Instead of reaching for a high-calorie, fat-filled chocolate bar (or two!), consider the many 100-calorie options that are now available. Many companies, including Hershey's, have developed low-calorie portion controlled candies and treats that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Eat Before Trick or Treating
To stop your kids (and yourself) from eating too many treats while trick or treating, be sure to eat a healthy meal or snack before heading out. The same suggestion applies before planning a trip to the grocery store. We all know how much damage can be done when we go to the grocery store hungry, so be aware and eat something healthy and filling before you go.
Stay Away From Sugary Drinks
If you're thirsty and craving something sweet, consider trading sugar-laden soda and fruit juices for low-fat chocolate milk. Each 8-ounce serving provides 300 milligrams of calcium - or 30 percent of the daily value for this important bone-building nutrient. Kids, especially, benefit from the calcium boost.
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You and your kids should be able to enjoy the Halloween candy, but not all at once! Work with them to portion out two or three treats in small bags. Better yet, create an entire week's worth of bags to accompany school lunches or to serve as an after-school snack. Understanding and learning portion control at a young age is very important.
Mix It Up
Rather than eating an entire bag of M & M's, pour a handful into a bowl and mix them with raisins, peanuts, mini pretzels, dried fruit, and non-sugary cereal to create your own healthy trail mix! You and your kids will love it!
Craving Something Minty?
Besides the fresh-breath advantage, mint candies are usually low-calorie and may actually help to chill you out. Studies have shown that just smelling peppermint reduces anxiety and fatigue. If you are craving minty candy, the best choice is York Peppermint Patties. Aside from giving you fresh-breath, they're lower in calories and fat than most candy.
Remember, moderation is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Nothing, not even candy, needs to be off limits. You simply need to be aware of what you're eating, how much you're eating, and when you've had enough.
What's Your Candy IQ?
Of these three mini candy bars, which are lower in calories and in fat:
Milky Way Miniatures, 3 Musketeers Miniatures, or Snickers Miniatures?
The answer is 3 Musketeers Miniatures, which are 24 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per piece. Milky Way Minis contain 38 calories and 1.6 g fat per piece and Snickers Minis rank highest, at 42.5 calories, and 2.25 grams of fat per piece.
Q: Which has fewer calories: 2 Twix (Fun Size) or 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin?
At 80 calories per cookie, the two Twix bars have 160 calories. One little Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin has 180 calories! Be careful with these small treats, which can be deceiving. They can often pack a lot of fat and calories.
Q: Which is highest in calories and saturated fat: Mounds, Almond Joy, or 2 packs of Fun-Size M&Ms? Almond Joy and Mounds tie for highest calories (200 calories each for 3 Miniatures; compared to 180 calories for 2 packs of fun size M&Ms). Mounds and Almond Joy also tie for highest in saturated fat (8 grams per serving each), which is more fattening than a Quarter Pounder (7 grams of saturated fat). Two packs of Fun Size M&Ms have 180 calories and 8 grams total fat, 5 of which are saturated.
Q: Which has more calories: 5 mini Kit-Kats or 35 pieces of candy corn?
Believe it or not, 35 pieces of candy corn has 12 more calories than 5 mini Kit-Kat bars. But the Kit-Kats have 8 grams of saturated fat per serving, so if you like them, limit your serving to 1 mini-size bar.
Q: Which has more calories: 20 Peanut M&Ms or 7 Hershey Kisses?
If you are calorie-conscious, it's better to go with the Hershey Kisses. Each one has 22 calories, so 7 Kisses equals 154 calories. Twenty Peanut M&Ms have 220 calories. However, the peanut M&Ms have a little more nutritional value (4 grams of protein and less saturated fat) so if you are craving these treats, don't worry. It's only Halloween once a year!