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Unwise Better Best: Halloween Candy

Posted on Oct 20, 2016 by Hilton Head Health








Halloween is just around the corner and the shelves in the grocery stores are piled high with candy bars and candy waiting to be purchased. Thousands of trick-or-treaters and Halloween enthusiasts will be purchasing bags of candy to hand out and eat. However, is there a healthier option to enjoy the treats of this season? We asked H3's Registered Dietitian, Felicia Spence for her tips on Unwise, Better, and Best options for Halloween candy/treats.

Halloween Candy Options

Unwise:

1. Full-size candy bar

2. Candy that has trans-fat in them. For example, Tootsie Rolls have 1g of trans-fat for every serving

 

Better:

1. Fun size candy allows for better portion control in the candy intake is moderated over a certain amount of weeks/months

2. As a person giving out candy, give each child ONE piece of candy instead of a handful. Also, do not leave the candy bowl out for kids to take as much as they wish

3. Limit trick or treating time to 1 hr so that the volume of candy is less. Focus the night on activities like watching movies and playing board games.

4. Try 70% or more Dark chocolate squares because of its antioxidant benefit

 

Best:

1. Offering non-candy choices to kids like stickers, bouncy balls, Pokemon cards. This has become popular with the "teal pumpkin" idea that kids have food allergies and handing out non-candy options will avoid that

2. Hand out dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, or cherries

3. Hand out clementine oranges

 

The Dietary Guidelines recommends preschool children have no more than 4 tsp of added sugar per day-age 4-8 an intake of 3tsp/day, and pre-teen/teenagers 5-8tsp/day. The American Heart Association found that the average child eats 12-21tsp of added sugar per day. Added sugar found in pop, snacks, and sweets should not be confused with naturally occurring sugar found in fruit. If you can imagine that 1 tsp of sugar is one packet of sugar, imagine a child eating 12-21 sugar packets every day. That can be scary! Fear not and try  healthier alternatives this Halloween! 


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