The wave of decadent treats is certainly not doing anything for your longevity or immediate health. We’re not just talking about kid’s parties and silly monster desserts. Adult fare is just as guilty of being overly-sugary and highly caloric.
Here are some novel ideas to keep you in the spirit but away from the candy dish:
- Dilute the sugary caramel or chocolate-laced popcorn with an equal amount of plain popped popcorn. Toss in some unsalted nuts if desired.
- When making banana, zucchini or pumpkin bread, substitute half the flour with whole wheat.
- Mainstream dishes like pizza and spaghetti can be served spooky-style: Serve overflowing spaghetti in carved pepper heads for brain-oozing effect. Use sliced mozzarella to create ghost shapes and sliced olives for mouths on pizza.
- Create black olive spiders to go on deviled eggs or to garnish a green salad.
- Turn wraps into haunting eyes by skewering two slices and decorating.
- Instead of orange soda, dilute a mango juice drink with seltzer water.
When you just can’t steer clear of the sweets, use these tips to keep your intake to a minimum:
- Cut and freeze cubes of your favorite candy bar (placing each in a section of an ice cube tray) to eat one at a time later.
- Keep the wrappers from individual/mini candies and place them in sight to remind yourself how much you’ve had.
- Choose a mint to suck on for a lasting freshness – only 5-10 calories!
- Avoid sticky or chewy candy that stays on your teeth begging you for more.
- Wait 10-15 minutes before eating to give yourself a chance to become distracted and forget.
- Alternate a piece with a similar texture from healthy food. For example, eat dried apricots after a chewy taffy or caramel, and raw celery after crisp or crunchy candy.
Trick or Treat (& don’t cheat on your holiday workout)!
Debbie James, RDN, brings us her expert opinion on food safety and sanitation, along with information on how you can eat well if you have to shelter in place.