I was able to interview nutritionist, and frequent Today Show guest, Elizabeth Somer! With Halloween on my mind, I decided to take the opportunity to get her expert advice on what families can do to have a healthier Halloween.
Do you have any recipe ideas for getting kids to eat vegetables on a day when they’ll be eating loads of sugar?
Kids should be eating more vegetables every day, not just on days when they will be trick-or-treating! Kids are most likely to eat vegetables when they are pared with a familiar food. So serve baby carrots with peanut butter or lightly steam broccoli flowerets and sprinkle with grated cheese. Grate carrots into a bean burrito, puree cooked vegetables and add to soup stock, grate zucchini into spaghetti sauce, add frozen peas to canned soups.
What suggestions do you have for making a classroom Halloween party healthy?
The kids will be overdosed on junk tonight, so don’t bring it into the classroom today. Instead, serve apple slices, orange sections, and banana chunks to dunk in yogurt. Serve Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice with fun Halloween straws.
Do you have any fun and healthy ideas for things parents can hand out to trick or treaters?
Small bags of nuts, granola bars, cartons or small single serve bottles of orange juice.
How do you recommend rationing the candy they get trick or treating? Are you in the camp of eat whatever you want that day, and donating the rest? Or rationing to a few pieces a day?
Personally, I believe it doesn’t matter. It was my kids’ stash and I let them do as they will. Typically, they ate a lot that night and maybe the next day, then the bag sat in their room for weeks. I sometimes tossed a few handfuls in the garbage after about a week to reduce the load, but it went stale before it got eaten anyway. It also depends on the age of the child. A small child loses interest and it’s easy to deplete the stash with fistfuls tossed in the garbage. As a child gets older, they need to learn to self-monitor themselves in all areas of life, so I left more and more of the decision-making process up to them. But, the message is a year-around message to take care of yourself, eat well, love your body, stay fit. It’s not a one-night issue.
What would you feed your kids for dinner on Halloween night?
The same thing I’d feed them any night. Healthy foods, such as chicken breast, sweet potatoes, green peas, milk, fruit for dessert.
For more Healthy Halloween food ideas, check out my pinterest board!
A big thank you to Tropicana for providing these coupons and this interview! We love to put the Tropicana Pure Premium OJ in our smoothies, and have always been a fan!