How to Save Time and Have a Healthy and Fun Halloween
10/24/2011

DENTON, Texas — Now that we are less than one week away from a night of spooky fun, the aisles of almost every store appear to be bursting at the seams with Halloween gear: costumes, candy bags and decorations as far as the eye can see. And, with all of the tasty temptations and treats looming around each corner it almost seems that trying to maintain a healthy Halloween is completely thrown out the window — almost. Experts have found that there may actually be a way you can stay healthy, have fun and save time during this season.

“Halloween can be celebrated AND be heart healthy for everyone in the family,” said Sarah Rozell, M.S., R.D., L.D., CNSC, Clinical Nutrition Supervisor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton.

The American Heart Association has launched some tips on ways to keep families healthy during Halloween.

  • Remember to have a healthy meal BEFORE you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.
  • Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!
  • Think about stocking up on healthier versions of treats to give out at your house: mini boxes of raisins, 100 percent juice boxes, snack sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders or even coupons to local frozen yogurt stores. Be sure to avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
  • Find the right-sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillow case method.
  • Want to avoid candy and masses of kids? Dress your family up in their costumes and go see a movie, go to the toy store and have your child pick out a favorite toy, see if local malls have trick-or-treat within the stores. Local police and fire stations may also offer this alternative.
  • Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery store after Halloween.

After Halloween, the holiday season picks up and Thanksgiving will be upon us. So how do you deal with the excess candy lying around your house into November?

  • Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for five days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts or celery.
  • “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon at a local park, going ice skating or a day at the pool.
  • Some dentists' offices have been known to buy back candy from their patients.

Follow these easy steps and you’ll not only have a healthier Halloween, but a great springboard into a healthier holiday season.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton is a 255-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served North Texas and southern Oklahoma since 1987. The hospital’s services include: heart and vascular; a Level III neonatal intensive care unit; orthopedics and sports medicine; neck, spine and pain management; emergency medicine; an accredited sleep center; women’s services; and a weight loss surgery program that has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. As one of the largest employers in Denton County, Texas Health Denton has more than 900 employees and more than 300 physicians on the medical staff practicing in more than 43 specialties. Texas Health Denton is an accredited chest pain center and an affiliate of Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Denton.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.