Halloween equates to dress up, lots of fun, and lots of candy consumption. Everyone looks forward to seeing the most innovative costumes and who has the biggest and best candy loot. That first round of digging in and eating what appears to be limitless amounts of candy may seem like a good idea in the beginning but always turns out to be a mistake. For many people, the usual Halloween routine leads to a lack of nutritional discipline and children on constant sugar highs and crashes.
This Halloween, parents are urged to try a different approach by HealthQuest’s Registered Dietitian, Lisa LaMarca. LaMarca suggests that the first step in having a Healthy Halloween is to do away with the classic pillowcases and large sacks that the kids use. “A smaller bag means less candy will likely come home.” Next, once the candy gets home, sort it out. “Save only the most special, and set a limit on the number of pieces of candy to keep. Donate or throw out the rest.” LaMarca also advises to, “dole it out slowly, and allow kids one or two pieces per day; possibly, one for lunch and one after dinner. Most kids will forget about the stash after the first week anyway.” Most importantly, “eat then treat. Establish a rule that if they want to eat candy, kids must have a nutritious snack first. This encourages kids to eat healthier choices and leave less room for junk.” Take this Halloween as an opportunity to teach your children moderation, balance, and how to reward themselves. Lastly, give out what you would want coming in. Switch up what goodies you give out as treats this year, and other families will surely follow suit in the coming years.
Another lesson to teach is offsetting candy consumption with a little extra exercise. LaMarca, also a Certified Personal Trainer, suggests to add an extra 10-30 minutes of physical activity to your child’s routine, depending on age, size, and fitness level. Also, test out some healthy alternatives to the calorie and carbohydrate rich candy. Gummy candies made with real juice, beef or turkey jerky, popcorn, raisins or cran-raisins are delicious kid approved goodies they will enjoy as well.
For more information on individual and family nutrition contact Lisa LaMarca, Registered Dietitian, at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit HealthQuest’s website to learn what fun things they have going on that the whole family will enjoy.
HealthQuest Family Fitness is a premier fitness club founded in 2001 that boasts an impressive 104,000 square foot facility on a 20-acre campus. Located on Route 31 in scenic Hunterdon County, New Jersey, HealthQuest is a family-friendly club that offers members all-inclusive access to over 150 group fitness classes, a fitness floor with over 300 pieces of strength and conditioning equipment, a state-of-the-art TechnoGym, indoor pool, track, and Sport Center. For more information, call (908) 782-4009 or visit www.healthquest-fitness.com.