The word “Halloween” might conjure up images of endless Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, caramel apples galore and little kids dressed up as ninja turtles, zombies or Elsa from Frozen. Healthy eating, however, probably doesn’t come to mind.
Daily healthy eating can reduce your risk for cancer, which affects nearly 1.6 million Americans every year. To reduce your risk, approach every day (including holidays) through the lens of prevention.
Eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help maintain your weight and your overall health – limitless candy just won’t cut it. Sugar brings temporary joy, but the inevitable crash and health risks aren’t worth it.
We can make Halloween a healthy holiday with a little creativity. After all, isn’t a day devoted to coming up with the coolest costume ever all about creativity? Trust me, I’m on your side – Halloween is my favorite holiday!
Here are a few ways that you and your family can stay healthy this Halloween—I promise that you’ll still have fun.
- Maximize your movement. Are you taking your kids trick or treating? Instead of sticking to a few close streets, walk or drive with your kids to the other side of a scenic neighborhood and work your way across it and back. This may prolong the evening, but it always felt like Halloween ended too early anyways when I was a kid.
- Divide up the candy. If you divide the candy you acquire into “once a week” portions, it’ll last longer. If you have kids, this can be a great tool for teaching them the power of occasional indulgences.
- Make your own candy. While we obviously don’t recommend making candy to hand out to trick or treaters, it’s a great idea if you’re hosting a Halloween party for your friends or family. Check out these healthier versions of all of your favorite treats, from Butterfinger to Crunch. You just might find that you like the healthier versions better.
- For adults: Take it easy with the alcohol. Men should only consume two alcoholic drinks a day and women should only consume one. (If you’re taking your kids trick or treating, you should consume ZERO.) You’ll probably get a lot of compliments on your Olaf or Great Gatsby costume. Don’t you want to remember them?
- Dress up as your favorite veggie! It’s hard to pig out dressed as a carrot. Enough said.
We don’t want to be a buzzkill, but the daily health choices that you make matter and Halloween is no exception. We’re firm believers in the fact that health and fun are not mutually exclusive.
Do you have tips for a healthy Halloween? Tweet them our way @preventcancer.
Have a happy and healthy Halloween!