How to Have a Healthy Halloween

Two jack-o-lanterns

Tips for Incorporating Healthy Foods Into Your Celebrations

Recognizing the Dietary Needs of Older Adults

There is nothing that comes between us and our nutrition goals like a large, inviting bowl of Halloween candy sitting on the counter. Many of us love to celebrate Halloween but struggle with the constant presence of treats at home and at work. For older adults trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle, Halloween can be a challenge. There are ways that you can celebrate Halloween without compromising your health and wellness goals.

  • Keep candy for trick–or–treaters out of sight. You may have bought the candy early, but you don’t need to look at it every day. Place it in a cupboard or on a shelf until Halloween night, and donate any extra candy afterward to a nearby children’s hospital or homeless shelter.
  • Consider a candy alternative. Many children will enjoy receiving a non–edible item like a bubble maker, temporary tattoo, or glow bracelet.
  • Buy bite–sized or miniature candy bars instead of full–size treats. This way, if you want to treat yourself to a piece or two, you will not be overdoing it. Also, be sure to eat a hearty dinner before trick–or–treaters begin to arrive—you will be less tempted to snack on candy in between your doorbell ringing.
  • Be mindful of others’ dietary needs. If you are planning a Halloween party for family members of all ages, consider that older adults may appreciate a variety of foods. Along with the caramel apples and cupcakes, set out a platter of fresh fruits or vegetables and dip. Have fun with it: Think banana “ghosts” or mandarin orange “pumpkins.”
  • Focus on movement first. If you are planning to attend a Halloween celebration later in the day, get your movement in earlier! You will feel better and ready to enjoy the festivities.

How are you celebrating a healthier Halloween? We hope you have a fun, safe, and spooky celebration.


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