Have a Healthy Halloween

Let's admit one thing right up front: It's Halloween. Candy is everywhere you turn. We all want it. That is to say, it's not just the kids who want some of those treats. I want the treats, too.

With that in mind, here are some tips to keep healthy eating part of your overall plan for the day.

•    It's just one day. Remember that. It is not Halloween WEEK. It is October 31. If you are buying candy ahead of time to take advantage of sales, hide the bags and don't open them - not even for one piece of candy. So plan to have some candy on October 31. Then make it leave your house. Send it to work, to the kids' teachers, to the people at the corner coffee shop, give it to the folks at the post office. Spread a little cheer wherever you go - just get it out of the house.

•    Get your day's exercise in early. Today's not a day to miss.

•    Before the group heads out for trick or treating, make a super healthy dinner. I love making up chili (using Laura's Lean Beef, of course), letting it simmer throughout the day so we can sit down and eat a real meal even if we are crazy as we get costumes ready.

•    If you want to host a party, indulge some, but make sure there are healthy offerings, too. Start with our healthy chili recipe. Spiced warm apple cider is always great on a fall evening and relatively guilt free. Instead of dunking for apples, tie apple stems to strings and dangle the apples from a clothesline or some other line. Have the kids keep their hands behind their back and try to get a bit of the apple. Let kids dip cut up fruit into melted chocolate (a small slow-cooker set to low is a great way to keep chocolate sauce warm). Color low-fat cream cheese, yogurt or veggie dip with orange food coloring. Use holiday cookie cutters to cut healthy sandwiches up into fun shapes.

•    Check out these links to other ideas: "Cheese Bugs" (cheese with pretzel sticks); Holidash's ideas include melon brains, spooky jello shapes and edible eyeballs.

•    Finally,  indulge a little. Key word? LITTLE. Pick three of your favorite treats, set them aside and enjoy them over the next few days with your afternoon coffee or tea. It's okay.


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