Dietitians offer sweet, healthy advice for Halloween season

Even though Halloween falls on the last day of October, grocery stores have been stocking those mini boxes of candy for weeks so people can get a jump on what some call the "food holiday" season.

For trick or treaters, a little bit of sugar is certainly acceptable, but dietitian Patricia Bannan offers these commonsense tips.

"So for Halloween let them eat candy but maybe it's three pieces that day they get to choose. Maybe it's only for a week and then all of a sudden it disappears," suggested Bannan.

Bannan says there's more to Halloween than just candy. Parents may have to get creative to make it fun!

"Give them different types of non-food toys, stickers, a ball. You can try and increase physical activity when you have Halloween parties and do different activities," Bannan said.

Whether your child is trick or treating or going to a party, make sure to arm them with good nutrition. Food with protein, plant food, some fiber to keep them stoked all night long.

"The last thing you want to do is send out a kid trick-or-treating hungry. So giving them a balanced nutritious meal or snack before they head out is really key so they don't overindulge," said Bannan.

Dietitian Laura LaValle is a fan of sneaking in a bit of greens for kids of all ages, but understands that's not always realistic.

"I mean if we could all eat wonderfully all the time wouldn't life be great? But that's why the holidays are a challenge, because we're on the run, we don't always have all these good things when we need them," said LaValle.

How to counterbalance all that sugar? She suggests trying powdered greens that offer the micronutrients, vitamins and minerals you'd get from eating real greens without the salad. You can put a scoop in your smoothie, or even salad dressing.

Something to think about to stay healthy as we head into cold and flu season.

Because as we know, getting sick is no treat.
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