Candy: Halloween's Staple Treat
While those who celebrate Halloween tend to participate in the holiday by decorating their homes and dressing up in costumes, a large portion of their celebratory expenses go to treats. This year, the National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend more than $3 billion on candy alone.
Some studies report that candy is one of the leading treats that include added sugars, which can contribute to health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. For this reason, the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends keeping intake of added sugars at or below 10% of their daily calorie consumption, which can be difficult during the Halloween season.
Healthy Eating Tips for Halloween
Candy and chocolate aren't the only tasty treats available during the spooky season, however. If you're wondering how to stay healthy on Halloween, these ideas can help.
1. Try a new shopping strategy. Many people buy their Halloween candy well in advance of the holiday. To help yourself avoid these goodies, consider waiting until a day or two before the holiday. After all, the less time candy sits in your house, the less likely you are to be tempted.
2. Rethink the candy bowl. If you find it hard to resist the family Halloween candy bowl, fill it with your least favorite kind of candy. Or skip the candy entirely and hand out other treats like glow sticks, temporary tattoos, sidewalk chalk or spooky stickers.
3. Downsize your gear. Did you know that according to one report the average Halloween haul contains 3,500 to 7,000 calories? Help your family enjoy the fun, without all the calories, by outfitting them with smaller trick-or-treat bags. Chances are they'll never notice the difference.
4. Fuel up first. Fill up with a healthy Halloween-themed dinner before you head out the door for trick-or-treating, and you'll be less likely to nibble on your spoils while you walk the neighborhood. Try a hearty bowl of pumpkin soup or some pumpkin mac and cheese. They're a good source of satisfying fiber to keep your crew full.
5. Start with a healthy — yet indulgent — snack. No time for a full meal before you pound the pavement? No problem. Whip up some ZP Ketoween Cupcakes. With 7 grams of protein, yet only 1 gram of sugar per serving, these tasty Halloween treats are super satisfying, plus they're keto-friendly.
6. Sneak in produce. Between the parties, zombie tag and trick-or-treating, getting enough (or any!) produce can be a challenge. Try out some decadent Double Dark Chocolate Mousse Parfaits, packed with an entire avocado per serving.
7. Think outside the candy box. Candy corn, gummy worms and chocolate may be the most obvious sources of sugar, but they're not the only ones. Cider, punch and spiced lattes can also pack a surprising amount of the sweet stuff. For example, a 12-ounce pumpkin cream cold brew could contain as much sugar as three fun-sized chocolate bars! For all the indulgence of your favorite holiday drinks, without all the sugar, whip up a creamy, satisfying seasonal beverage, like the ZP Spooky Cold Brew, instead.
Halloween is the perfect time to indulge. But indulgence doesn't have to come at the expense of eating healthy. With these recipes and tips, you'll get all the treats with none of the tricks.