Sweet, sour, crunchy, smooth, salty, whatever your sweet tooth you can now find it in stores everywhere! Halloween is almost here and you can find candy far and wide. I’m always preaching to my athletes how candy is nothing but empty calories and those calories DO NOT contribute to athletic (or academic) performance. While I still stand by my words; keep in mind Halloween is a ‘holiday’! My philosophy is to eat for performance 90% of the time and the other 10% is when you can treat yourself. Consider Halloween as part of that 10% and enjoy some sweet treats.
Here are some tips to help you practice good behavior and enjoy Halloween without overindulging.
- Eat a couple pieces of candy after you’ve had a balanced meal NOT on an empty stomach.
- Consume regular meals and snacks throughout the day and DON’T bank your calories to indulge in sweet treats.
- Downsize candy bars and go ‘mini’! Choose bite-size candy bars based on the least amount of fat and calories per serving. A few good choices include: 3 Musketeers; 100 Grand Bar; Butterfinger; Milky Way; Raisinets; and York Peppermint Patties.Consider eating healthier dark chocolate versions of candy (dark chocolate Hershey Kisses, mini Dove bites or dark chocolate covered cherries, blueberries or cranberries).
If you are handing out candy to the Trick or Treaters, consider some healthy alternatives:
- Fruit leather, cereal and granola bars, trail mixPretzels, crackers, animal crackers
- Beef or turkey jerky
- Juice box packages, hot chocolate packets or apple cider packets
- Sugar-free gum and
- Single serving popcorn packets
Enjoy this one time of year when October 31st is all about candy!
Happy & Healthy Halloween,
Christine Turpin, RD, CSSD, LDN, CSCS