7 solutions for a healthier Halloween

LOS ANGELES "If you want to treat yourself for one day, by all means, at the end of the day, the holiday is one day," said dietitian Ashley Koff.

However, in the consumer world, candy pops up at school, the office and your kitchen by early September, which launches an eating frenzy until Valentine's Day.

The first rule for a healthier Halloween is to enjoy the candy and move on, perhaps even donating it to those not as fortunate.

All sugars metabolize about the same, but be wary of other ingredients like artificial colors, chemicals, saturated and trans fat.

Hard candy like lollipops, small-portioned gum and naturally colored gummy bears are nice choices for your trick-or-treaters.

Halloween can be healthier if you make trick-or-treating a physical activity.

"Trick-or-treating is actually about walking, taking that long walk down the street and going up and down stairs if you're in an apartment building or to different houses," Koff said.

If the kids are doing parties instead, have active games.

Halloween is also a good time to pay a bit of attention to the environment as well.

"Do we need (plastic buckets) to carry things? What happened to just carrying things with a good old-fashioned pillow case," said Koff.

Instead of saving candy for when children do chores or get good grades, think about nonfood rewards they might enjoy, like stickers and school supplies.

Another tip for a healthier Halloween is to not eat the suggested serving size for candy. You'll want to eat less. All you have to do instead of mindless eating is choose one or two, sit and savor.

Recap of the 7 tips for a Healthier Halloween:

  • Watch out for start of Halloween season, but if you make the holiday just one day, you can treat yourself.
  • Try naturally sweet, fruit-juice sweetened or organic sugar candy.
  • Use recyclable/household goods for costumes and bags, like pillowcases for bags, giveaway clothes for costumes and food for decorations.
  • Make Halloween a physical activity by walking, biking or playing games at parties.
  • Instead of using candy as rewards for doing chores and getting good grades, try a game or toy they want.
  • Make a costume or decoration for a less-fortunate family.
  • Instead of following the suggested serving size for bags of candy, take one or two pieces and enjoy them.

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