Have a Healthy Halloween

Your kids can still satisfy their sweet tooth without over-doing it on the sugar.   Connie Evers, registered dietitian and author of "How to Teach Nutrition to Kids" joins us with tips for parents on how to keep Halloween both fun and healthy:

At Harvest/Halloween parties, include healthy snack choices such as:

  • "Brown bag" microwaved popcorn (flavored w/ Parmesan or pumpkin pie spice)
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Toasted Jack-0-Lantern Cheese Bread
  • Pumpkin softies (recipe below)
  • Whole grain crackers and hummus, baked tortilla chips and guacamole, fruit juice/seltzer punch, chunks of fruits and veggies and cocoa made with fat free or 1% milk. The healthy choices will help balance out the treats.

For trick-or-treaters, consider having one bowl of candy and one bowl with non-food "prizes" and healthy choices such as trail mix, nuts, low sugar cereal bars and sugar-free gum.

Encourage regular meals, including supper before children go trick-or-treating. Your kids may be more interested in eating if you cook a hearty soup or stew in your cauldron and call it "witches brew."

Set a policy for eating trick-or-treat candy. In my view, it's better to eat candy moderately over several days as a substitute for dessert or one or two pieces along with a healthy snack.

For more information, visit Connie's website.

Pumpkin Softies

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup smart balance spread or butter, softened
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Non-stick spray
  • Toppings: raisins, dried cranberries, sliced or slivered almonds, peanuts, chopped prunes or apricots

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In mixing bowl, beat together sugar and margarine until creamy. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat well.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; add to pumpkin mixture, mixing until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Lightly spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. Drop dough by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans.
  5. Smooth tops of dough with back of spoon and decorate with dried fruits and nuts to make flowers, faces or other fun patterns.
  6. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown (lift gently with a spatula to check). Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Servings: Makes about 3 ½ dozen
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 90 calories; 3 g fat; 2g protein; 15g carbohydrate; 78 mg sodium; 1g fiber; Calcium 2% DV; Vitamin A 33% DV; Iron 3% DV
 

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