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Tips for a healthy Halloween

October 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's no doubt kids are going to be trick or treating, trying to get the most candy possible, but that doesn't mean you should be giving them sugar before they head out the door.You want to keep their blood sugar from rising? Here's what you should consider.

"Don't send your kids out and not arm them with a healthy meal first," said Patricia Bannan. "They're going to be less likely to snack as they go."

At Whole Foods in Pasadena, dietitian Patricia Bannan found some ideas to send the little goblins off on their adventure with tummies filled with the right foods.

"You always want to have some protein and some fiber at every meal to keep their blood glucose level at a steady rate," said Bannan.

Try whole-grain crackers or tortilla chips with hummus or guacamole. Nuts work well as they contain both fiber and protein all in a handful.

If sweets are part of the party, make dessert with fruit -- pumpkin or applesauce -- to offer more nutritious goodies.

Another great idea is a "vampire smoothie" made with nonfat frozen yogurt and berries for a scary freezer treat.

Low-sugar juice rather than soda, fruit and nut bars, and fruit leathers are all ways to lower sugar without taking the fun out of the festivities.

After the kids come home with their sweet treasures, it's time to set some guidelines.

"You want your child to have fun on Halloween, but you can also teach them moderation and healthy lifestyles at the same time," said Bannan. "You can have them pick out their three favorite treats a day and then put the rest away for later."

And for parents, Bannan cautions: "Don't buy candy in huge quantities, you are more apt to overeat it. Also, it is smart not to buy candy that you love, as it will always be calling your name."

Recipes for a Healthy Halloween:

Goblin Filled Cupcakes

1 package (18.25 ounces) favorite cake mix
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 cup water
2 eggs

Gooey Filling
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3 drops food coloring of your choice

For the cupcakes, combine all cake mix, silken tofu, water and eggs in a mixing bowl and blend until all ingredients are moistened. Fill cupcake holders 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.

For the filling, combine the powdered sugar and margarine in a small bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add desired amount of food coloring and mix. Place in a pastry bag with tip inserted. Insert pastry bag into top of cooled cupcake and pipe in filling. Frost with your favorite prepared frosting and decorate with Halloween candies.

Vampire's Blood Shake 2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package frozen strawberries or raspberries, thawed ice cubes
1 pint strawberry nonfat yogurt, ice cream or soy dessert (soy ice cream)

Mix yogurt, vanilla and berries in the blender. Pour into tall glasses over ice cubes.

Revised recipe courtesy of homeparents.about.com

Get seasonal recipes from NutriFit

Get recipes made with soy products at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com


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