Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Mr. Bad Food on Avoiding Candy and Other Halloween Horrors

    I ain't afraid of no ghost...

    I ain't afraid of no witch, either.

    What really frightens me this Halloween season are the fun-sized candy bars that will jam my children's goodie bags - and turn dad's belly to jelly!

    Yes, they dare call them fun size even though there's nothing fun about overindulging on your favorite - and even your not-so-favorite - candies and treats at Halloween.

    What's also scary is that I've found in recent years that a growing number of well-meaning guys and ghouls have started handing out king-sized candy bars as their terrifying treat of choice!

    If you ask me, king is to candy like value is to fast food meals - it's overkill that tastes so darn good!

    But you and I are here at because we want to eat healthier and maybe lose a few pounds or, at the least, maintain the weight we're at. So how do we do it?

    Sorry, but the "just say NO!" tactic won't cut it when we candy lovers are besieged by the sugary treats that trick us into feasting through the night... not to mention for days afterwards.

    I must confess there was one year when my wife and I decided it was a good idea to hide our children's overflow of Halloween candy in my home office. Guess who spent much of the next six months snacking away while writing columns much like this one?

    And guess who sorely in need of a diet when the candy well finally ran dry?

    I sit before you with a vow - a vow that this year will be different. And why is that, you ask? Simple. I've placed my trust in Cheryl Tallman, food expert and co-founder of the website.

    Cheryl, who has agreed to become a regular blogger on our booming website, is dishing out tips that will keep your kids - and thus YOU - safer this Halloween season.

    If you already haven't fallen victim the Halloween candy aisles that seem to pop up as soon as the school year starts, then there is hope for you. Cheryl writes:

    "If you don't feel like to contributing to the neighborhood children's tooth decay, consider giving treats that are healthier. Here are some suggestions:

    • Cheese and cracker packages

    • Naturally flavored and sweetened gum or sugar-free gum

    • Small bags of pretzels

    • Small packages of nuts or raisins

    • Peanuts in the shell

    • Fruit-Roll Ups

    • Granola bars

    "If you are not opposed to sugar, but would prefer your treats to be natural or vegan, we suggest you visit your local natural food store. There are many natural candy companies that offer a big variety of candies. The one drawback, expect to pay more for these items. Natural products come at a higher price tag."

    Halloween treats do not have to be edible

    Cheryl says there's a simple alternative to avoiding the junk food challenges: Hand out a non-food treat.

    "Today, many families are opting for this choice," she tells "With a little bit of thought and some clever shopping, you can find some really nice items for a few cents per item."

    A few nifty ideas:

    • Cool stickers or temporary tattoos

    • Halloween balloons, you can even rent a helium tanks and fill them on the spot

    • Crayons, pencils, colored chalk or fun-shaped erasers

    • Whistles or noise makers

    • Rubber spiders, worms, or other equally creepy figure

    • Spider, skull, or pumpkin plastic rings

    "Check your local dollar store for fun items," Cheryl suggests.

    Cheryl has scared up a few more words of advice for avoiding the treats that will trick you and your kids into poor eating habits for days to come.

    "When your children arrive back at home, don't let them take control over their bag or bucket of candy. Working with them, check the treats and keep only treats which are unopened. Be sure to inspect fruits and homemade goods for anything suspicious.

    "While you are going through their candy, let them pick two or three treats that they can eat on this special night. Store the rest of the candy out of reach and out of sight - or better yet, GIVE IT AWAY!

    "Over the next few days or weeks, rationing the treats is the best approach. Allow your children to make their own selections, but tell them they can pick one large piece or two small pieces.

    "If your children have trouble with this, do it for them (in advance). Just place small amounts of candy in bags, and let them select one of the bags. If there is just too much candy, consider donating some of it to a shelter. It will bring smiles to others."

    Good advice Cheryl. This old cookie monster knows the only good candy is a gone candy, so we'll be sticking with candy-free treats for the neighbor kids and a quick thinning out of our kids' collection.

    OK, so maybe Mr. Bad Food will sneak in a few small pieces before shipping out the rest!

    Happy Halloween everyone!


    Author: John McGran

    Archived posts 2009
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