Want to see something really creepy this Halloween? Check the nutrition label of your favorite sweet. There’s not a whole lot in there besides sugar! With so much sugar-loaded candy available to kids and adults alike, it can be a tricky time of year to eat healthily.

Thankfully, Colleen Forrest, a Research Dietitian at Community Servings, has put together tips you can follow to make smarter choices during this spooky season – both for you and those trick-or-treating!

Choose treats that are nutrient-dense

Many types of candy provide “empty calories,” meaning they provide calories from added sugars and solid fats without any other nutrition.  Nutrient-dense treats, on the other hand, supply your body with nutrients in addition to just calories.  Here are some examples of nutrient-dense treats:

  • Dark chocolate: rich in antioxidants, which fight a variety of diseases
  • Chocolate covered almonds or peanuts: high in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats
  • 100% real fruit strips: sweet from naturally occurring sugars with vitamins and minerals too
  • Raisinets, blood oranges, and other fruit: provides all the benefits of 100% real fruit strips with fiber too! There are lots of ways to dress up fruit as festive treats for the season.

Opt for non-food treats.

What kid doesn’t love glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth?  You can be the standout house on the block by providing a different kind of Halloween treat to trick-or-treaters that will last longer than a sugar rush.  Here are some non-food treats to try this season:

  • Slime
  • Novelty Halloween eyeglasses
  • Glow sticks
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncy balls
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Foam masks
  • Slinkys
  • Yo-yos
  • Erasers

Keep it light.

If you want to have that piece of candy, have that piece of candy!  You should still be able to enjoy those sweet treats from time to time.  But going for the fun-size instead of the king-size can help to keep your portions light.  Having a small piece of candy once or twice a day can satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling like an overindulgence.  Some sweet and salty treats that are on the lighter side include Rice Krispy treats, pretzels, and popcorn balls.

Get moving!

Celebrate the season with an activity!  Dress up in costume and dance along to your favorite Halloween tunes.  Or walk through a corn maze or haunted house. Most importantly, have fun!  It’s an exciting time of year and following these tips can help you enjoy the Halloween season in a healthy way.

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