Dr. Bell's Blog

Treat Your Body Right This Halloween

For kids and many adults alike, Halloween is one of the holidays they wait all year for.  It gives you a chance to dress up, be goofy (which we all need to do) for a night, and most of all just have some fun.  For kids, mostly this means roaming your local neighborhood to fill your bag full of as much candy as you can collect in an hour or two.  It is a tradition I look back on with many fond memories.  

For parents, this can be a frustrating time as many have put a lot of time and energy into encouraging a healthy, balanced diet with limited exposure to excess sugar.  As we all know, Halloween can involve a gluttony of sugar consumption.  The average child collects between 3500 and 7000 calories worth of candy when trick or treating, that according to Donna Arnett, PhD., University of Alabama-Birmingham's School of Public Health. Yikes!  Yes, on one hand you would like the kids to indulge a little, and have some fun for the holiday.  However, you know over doing this can risk undermining their health, and it's not worth it.

What is The Answer?

There is not an easy one, but like many things in life, moderation is key.  Set some boundaries ahead of time.  Maybe let them pick out 2 or 3 of their favorite things that night to eat, as well as the following couple days.  Another strategy is allowing them to consume a couple pieces only after eating something healthy prior.  After a few days, especially if you hide the remaining contents, many kids will forget all about what is left.

Lets Not Forget About Adults!

For adults, Halloween can mean parties filled with equally unhealthy items.  Fill up on that vegetable tray, grab a hand full of almonds, consume alcohol in moderation, and don't stand next to the table of food all night.  

Finally, Halloween is supposed to be fun and a time we can let loose a little.  If you and your children generally eat well all year long, indulging a little for a single night won't ruin your healthy year.  Just don't over indulge, keep moderation in mind, and don't let it linger into the following days leading you back into bad habits again.

Happy Halloween!

LIVE well.  BE well.