• By Dana Sparks

Happy, Healthy Halloween

October 28, 2013

Halloween treats - bananas with chocolate chips, clementines with celery sticks

Trick-or-treating and Halloween fun might seem like harmless childhood activities, but according to registered dietitian Diane Dressel with Mayo Clinic Health System, the holiday can have frightening consequences to those struggling with their weight. “Halloween can be the first challenge to people watching their weight as they approach the holiday feasting seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. You can move Halloween festivities beyond just candy.” Dressel is a program coordinator for Mayo Clinic Health System’s Weight Management Services, and offers the following advice:

  • Halloween candy packs a punch. Hard candies contain 110 calories per ounce; chocolate bars are 150 calories per ounce. Even the innocent looking fun-sized candy bars average 100 calories each, meaning 10 of them could easily exceed 1,000 calories. A child’s caloric intake for an entire day is typically 1,800.
  • Minimize trick-or-treat temptations. Hold off on buying Halloween candy too early to minimize snacking. Don’t purchase your favorite candy. Consider sugar-free gum, small bags of pretzels or fat-free candies. Forego sugary treats altogether by giving out stickers, temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, yo-yos, colorful pencils or pencil toppers.
  • Make your Halloween party a scream with healthy snacks. Veggie or fruit platters with fat-free dips, fat-free popcorn and sugar-free gelatin can be real crowd-pleasers.


Witches Brew with Funny Face Ice Cubes

Diet or sugar-free blueberry juice (can combine with another sugar-free fruit juice)


Mandarin oranges or strips of strawberries

1.      Pour juice into punch bowl.

2.      Fill ice tray or muffin tin half full with water and freeze.

3.      After the water is frozen, add blueberries (for eyes) and orange or strawberry strip (for the mouth).

4.      Cover with water and freeze again.

5.      Add ice cubes to punch before serving.

Yogurt Fruit Dip

3 cartons of blueberry light yogurt

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese

2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Dash of lemon zest

Blend until smooth.

100 calories per cup


Pumpkin Dip

1 can pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 package (small) sugar-free vanilla instant pudding

1 cup skim milk

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Mix until smooth, spread in a shallow dish. Top with whipped topping.

160 calories per cup


Quick Caramel Dip

1 package sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding

1 package dry-mix whipped topping

1 ½ cups skim milk

Mix well.

10 calories per tablespoon

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