It’s the time of year (roughly from Halloween to New Year’s) when people are tempted to overindulge at mealtime and graze on holiday goodies for dessert. Those without a solid plan for how to deal with their cravings may allow their healthy lifestyle to fly right out the window during this season.
DON’T allow that to happen!
A diet heavy in sugar can interfere with the hormones that regulate hunger and fullness, which can lead to weight gain. Eating sugary foods causes a spike in blood sugar, strains the insulin hormone system, and harms the pancreas, liver and cardiovascular systems. Simply put, the more sugar you eat, the less healthy you’ll be.
Since nobody wants to feel deprived, especially during fun-filled holidays like Halloween, it’s important to find healthy alternatives to sweet treats your kids will love.
To prevent your kids from slipping into a candy coma, try these 8 healthy food options this Halloween!
8 Healthy Alternatives to Candy
1. Save the Seeds
A popular Halloween tradition is pumpkin carving. While creating jack-o’-lanterns can be an enjoyable activity to do with friends and family, it also can be pretty messy. Before you throw away the slimy insides of the pumpkin, be sure to save the seeds. After cleaning and drying the seeds, you can eat them raw or lightly toast them in the oven. A handful of these tasty seeds contain more protein per ounce than almonds, as well as more iron and magnesium than most nuts.
2. Curb Your Sweet Tooth
If you or your child struggle with a sweet tooth on Halloween, when it’s so tempting to grab one of those bite-size candy bars, choose snacks with a low glycemic index that won’t cause your blood sugar to spike, such as:
- Healthy smoothie
- Cherry tomatoes
- Baby carrots
- Plums, blueberries, strawberries
- A square or two of dark chocolate (at least 65% cacao), preferably with almonds
3. Dip Your Apples
Instead of bobbing for apples (gross!), try dipping them. As a healthy alternative to eating chips and dip, slice up an apple and dip the wedges into almond butter for an appetizing anytime snack. For variety, use any organic, sugar-free nut butter as a great-tasting, protein-packed dip.
4. Go Nuts
Almonds and cashews are excellent sources of protein, healthy fats, and fiber that can help balance blood sugar levels. They’re also packed with magnesium, a mineral that’s necessary for our body to convert food into energy. Walnuts are inexpensive and are full of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Protein-rich foods like seeds and nuts take longer to digest, which helps satiate hunger until your next meal and reduce the temptation to reach for an unhealthy snack.
5. Dress Up Your Fruit
For many people, dressing up as their favorite character or a spooky monster is one of the most thrilling aspects of Halloween. But did you know you can dress up your fruit too? Transform ordinary oranges and clementines into mini-pumpkins by drawing jack-o’-lantern faces on the outer skin with a marker. Your kids might find fruit more a-peeling when you present it as a scary Halloween treat.
6. Healthy Cake Pops
Do your kids like cake pops? Although cake pops are a quick way to appease your child’s cravings for something sweet, you might be alarmed at how many calories are packed into these tiny treats. Rather than allowing their diet to be ruined over something so small, seek out an alternative your kids will love…and won’t even know is healthy. Here’s the recipe and instruction video for how to make Pumpkin Spice Cake Pops.
7. Festive Veggie Tray
Here’s a great way to make sure everyone in the family eats their veggies. Fill a plate with baby carrots in the rough shape of a pumpkin. Use sliced celery stalks as the stem (top) of the pumpkin and place cucumber slices on top of the carrots to represent eyes, nose and a mouth. For a more elaborate veggie tray, use a long platter and create a skeleton with celery stalks for leg and arm bones, shingled cucumber slices for the backbone, bell pepper slices for the ribs, etc. Give your kids free rein in arranging the skeleton…this will likely encourage them to eat their own creation when it’s finished.
8. Nutritional Support
Since so many of the foods being offered today are deficient in vitamins and essential minerals, one of the best ways to stay healthy during Halloween is to take dietary supplements. BrainMD offers a range of high-quality, brain-directed supplements that can help you feel energized, content, and able to manage stress or mental strain. We also have specially formulated supplements that can help calm the craving centers in the brain, support healthy blood sugar levels, and promote a positive mood with clinically studied, all-natural ingredients.
The BrainMD team wishes you and yours a safe, healthy and happy Halloween!
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to support your brain health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of supplements, please visit us at BrainMD
Keith has been a member of the BrainMD team for many years, providing his research and writing talents. As an aspiring author, he appreciates an appreciable application of alliteration in all articles.
Keith is grateful to have the opportunity to write about supplements since many of them have made a dramatic difference in his life. He is often heard around the office saying, “We have supplements for that.”
This article was first published on BrainMD.com, founded by our friend Dr. Daniel Amen.