Who do you want to be?

Halloween is not just for kids. In fact, adults attend Halloween parties as the day gives us permission to be whoever we want. Some people shy away from the invitation to dress up, avoiding the call to make choices. Others are drawn to it, putting on outrageous outfits because it is fun and it makes them feel good.

Halloween really does give us all the opportunity to be something we are not. It gives us the opportunity to get behind a mask while allowing our personalities to shine through.

This Halloween, why not dress up as something you want to be? Even if you are home alone just opening the door for Trick-or -Treaters, you can have fun too!

And Now for a Little Indulgence…

We meant what we said when we suggested distributing healthy Halloween treats last week, but there is always room for a little indulgence, and the wonderful thing about Halloween candy is the portion control. With the exception of a few overly generous individuals who distribute full-sized bars, most of the treats come in tiny packages. Here is a 100 calorie list of candy you are likely to see in your travels next week:

 Candy                                     Approximate Amount to Equal 100 Calories

           Candy corn                              17 pieces

           Hershey’s Kisses                      4 pieces

            Reese’s Pieces                        26 pieces

            3 Musketeers (mini)                   4 bars

            Reese’s peanut butter

             cups (mini)                                    2

            Almond Joy  Fun Size                  1 bar

            Fun Size M&M’s –either plain

              or peanut                                    1 bag

            Dum Dum Lollipops                         5

             Tootsie Rolls                                   4

            Snickers  Fun Size                       1 bar

 Another thing we love about Halloween is that it encourages walking, and it is not only for kids. If you have  young school-aged children, you will be getting your share of exercise, but when they want to do just one more block and you are ready to call it a day, just say yes.

Do go to neighborhoods where the homes are far apart, and go early when residents are less likely to be home. Such tactics translates to more walking and less candy.  And if you don’t have children of your own, or they are too old to be seen with you, tag along with a niece, nephew or a friend’s child. It’s a holiday. The more the merrier!

So if you dread Halloween, focus on the good part of the holiday: healthy snacks, plenty of exercise in the fresh autumn air, the permission to play dress-up, and chocolate in controlled portions. Enjoy!



The Razor Blade Myth and Other Reasons Why We Should Favor Healthy Halloween Treats

imgresIn 1985, Best and Horiuchi published a journal article titled the “Razor Blade in the Apple: The Social Construction of Urban Legends” contending that threats of tainted Halloween candy have been widely exaggerated.

Today, we shy away from baking our own treats or giving out fruit, for example, because there is a lack of trust, even though the danger has been blown out of proportion. Instead, our children bring home pillow cases full of hermetically sealed  store-bought candy. While stockpiling candy may not appear to be a healthy thing to do, Halloween does invite a lot of walking, so while the sugary treats will certainly be present, at least there is exercise involved.

As adults, we can do things to encourage healthy eating, even on a holiday like Halloween. When we give out treats, we can favor healthier varieties in sealed packages. We can veer towards  pretzels,  nuts, popcorn, granola or non-food items. The holiday is two weeks away so we have time to create a solid strategy and stick with it.

An occasional treat is fine, but Halloween invites overkill with days of rationing and bargaining ahead. Giving out healthier options is not trickery. It is simply the smart thing to do.