Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding the Health in Halloween

Trick-or-treat people! We're about to hit that infamous day of the year when munchkin-sized ghosts and goblins (or Don Drapers and Sarah Palins) and sugary-sweet candy corn and toostie roll pops come out with a vengenance. And I LOVE everything about it.
Yup, this nutritionist adores Halloween, the day of everything-orange-and-black...spooky, scary, fun, and loaded with any dietitian's and dentist's dreaded nightmare...endless heaps of candy.

If you didn't get a chance to read my monthly e-newsletter, here's the piece I wrote in praise of this frightful annual holiday. Have a read and rejoice in finding a little bit of health in this year's Halloween! (and if you're not signed up for my newsletter, click here and scroll to the bottom to get on the list!)

I'll come out and say it, I love Halloween. Odd words coming from a nutritionist, but it's always been one of my favorite holidays (maybe I'm just a sucker for dressing up and carving pumpkins). And I'm not gonna lie, I like a little candy once in a while too. There's a time and a place for a few milk duds, sweet tarts, candy corn or peanut m&ms -- wrapped up in black and orange packaging, they bring back trick-or-treating memories from childhood. Sure, on a daily basis, candy isn't something I encourage or take part in -- most of candy's ingredients are void of any decent nutritional value. But here's the healthy catch with Halloween: a) it's 1 day a year b) Halloween candy usually comes in bite-size, baby portions. Genius! Actually, these mini-sized candy bars or boxes are what actual portions should be. Two or three, and you're golden...you've gotten your sweet tooth fix and haven't gone crazy on the calories. Halloween can absolutely teach us something about healthful indulgence: baby bites = smart portions.

Here's a quick run down of your fave Halloween candies and their calorie counts:

  • candy corn (1 serving, 22 pieces) 140 calories, 0 grams fat

  • fun sized snickers or milkway (1) 75calories, 3.5 grams fat

  • fun sized m&ms (1 pack) 90 calories, 4.5grams fat twizzlers (3 pieces) 130 calories, 5 grams fat

  • peppermint pattie minis (2 pieces) 110 calories, 2 grams fat

  • reese's peanut butter cups (3 minis) 90 calories, 7 grams fat

  • snack sized butterfinger (1) 100 calories, 4 grams fat

  • fun sized raisinets (1 pack) 65 calories, 2.5 grams fat

  • fun sized goobers (1 pack) 85 calories, 5 grams fat

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