What will your disguise be this Halloween? Will you be tricking or treating? We are encouraging you to make this sugary holiday a more healthful one! According to a recent study, a trick-or-treater’s candy bag contains approximately 4,800 calories and 3 cups of sugar (equal to 145 teaspoons). Adults should consume no more than six to nine teaspoons of sugar and children should consume no more than 4 teaspoons per day. High intake of added sugars may contribute to poor health conditions including obesity, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

If you’re going to give out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, buy the day before to reduce temptation throughout the week or buy a kind that is not a favorite of yours. Consider providing non-candy treats such as stickers, crayons, toothbrushes, pretzels, or popcorn. Another healthy strategy is to keep the candy out of reach to avoid “easy access” or mindless snacking so that the candy retains special status and is a treat, not a regular part of your diet.

Before the kids head out the door, serve a healthy dinner and have a healthy snack waiting for them when they return. Continue to keep moderation in mind; some suggest allowing one or two pieces of candy per day, but, it’s not necessary to let that routine go on until it runs out!

Did You Know?

  • Americans purchase approximately 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year.
  • The word Halloween is an abbreviated version of the phrases All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallows’ Evening.
  • In 2015, Halloween is on a Saturday!
  • The top children’s costumes in 2014 included Spiderman and characters from the movie “Frozen”.

Stay Safe This Halloween

To help make Halloween a fun and safe experience for all, work together to review safety practices for trick or treating.

  1. Travel in groups. A parent or a responsible adult should always accompany young children.
  2. Consider make-up as an alternative to masks, which can impair vision while trick-or-treating.
  3. Use sidewalks instead of walking in the streets.
  4. Wear bright colors or reflective clothing.
  5. Go through all collected candy to make sure none have been tampered with.

Sources: CNN, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Safe Kids Worldwide (www.safekids.org), LifeWork Strategies, and Adventist HealthCare. Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.