Happy Healthy Halloween

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Halloween is just around the corner, and you may be wondering how to maintain a healthy diet this year. Halloween is a great opportunity to discuss the importance of moderation with your children. All foods, even candy, can fit into a balanced and nutritious diet as long as you watch portion sizes.

First, it is important to agree upon limits with your children, and discuss how much candy they will be able to enjoy per day. Some parents may say that candy should be limited to two pieces a day. Be sure to have this conversation with your children ahead of time and come to an agreement that works for your family.

Before you go out trick-or-treating on Halloween, make sure to provide your children with a healthy, well balanced meal. This will help to limit overindulgence on candy on Halloween night since your children will not be too hungry. Consider being somewhat lenient on Halloween night and let your kids have a few pieces of extra candy, since it is a special occasion. After that, however, it is important to reiterate moderation and portion sizes and to be a healthy role model by following a balanced diet yourself.

As a general rule of thumb, make sure sweets are offered with healthy foods. For example, a piece of Halloween candy with an apple and a glass of milk could be served for an afternoon snack. Or, a piece of candy could be offered as a dessert after a healthy dinner. As long as your children are eating nutritious, balanced meals, Halloween candy in moderation can be incorporated. The key is that the majority of what your children eat should be nutritious and balanced.

You may be considering passing out healthier alternatives to candy this year. Here are a few ideas to add to your candy bowl:
• Goldfish crackers
• Animal crackers
• Cereal bars
• Pudding cups
• Pretzels
• Box of raisins
• Small box of cereal
• Halloween stickers, pencils, or temporary tattoos.

Halloween is a great opportunity to discuss healthy nutrition and portion sizes with your children. Have a healthy, happy Halloween this year!

Popcorn Ballspile of popcorn balls like snow
Ingredients
3 cups popcorn
½ cup honey
1 cup honey-nut toasted oat cereal
1 ounce pretzel sticks, broken into pieces
¼ cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

Preparation
1. Melt honey, cinnamon and nutmeg in a pan over low heat until the honey is thin. Remove from heat.
2. Combine popcorn, cereal, pretzels and peanuts; stir.
3. Pour honey over the popcorn mixture and stir to coat with a wooden spoon. Cool 2 minutes.
4. Form into 10 (3-inch) balls. Cool 5 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving: 106 calories, 2 g protein, 2 g fat, 1 g fiber, 83 mg sodium

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