9NEWS nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick share ideas for making Halloween just a little healthier this year.
DENVER — Halloween may look different this year but one thing is bound to remain the same; there will be lots of candy.
As a mom and dietitian, I’m always looking for ways to allow my kids to enjoy Halloween without the massive blood sugar swings.
First, it’s important to recognize that added sugar provides absolutely no benefit to health. Just the opposite in fact.
A 2014 study found that excess sugar in the diet could increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Another study, published in 2020, found that high sugar diets could reduce lifespan.
Despite the data on the adverse impact that sugar has on our health, we still continue to eat more of it than we should. In fact, a 2014 study found that sugar consumption has increased 30% in the last three decades.
Clearly – reducing sugar in our kids is essential to their future health. Here’s how to do it during the most sugary month of the year!
Choose dark chocolate
Dark chocolate that has at least 72% cocoa content has an abundant amount of heart healthy flavonoids. Additionally, studies show that dark chocolate consumption may help to relieve stress as well. Look for dark chocolate bars, covered dried fruit low sugar dark chocolate chips.
Look for candy with fiber
Candy doesn’t typically contain fiber but you can still get some if you choose options that have a lot of nuts or seeds. Chocolate covered almonds or nut-based candies contain more fiber which may reduce the impact on blood sugar and insulin. These may be great options for kids that don’t have allergies to nuts or seeds.
Kids love honey, and getting it local may help to support local business. Studies show that honey may play a role in disease prevention through its phytochemical, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Look for honey sticks as an easy (and fun) way to deliver a dose of satisfying honey into your little one.
Find non candy options
Lucky for moms and kids, plenty of options can be bought that have no candy at all. Chickpea snacks, vegetable chips, lentil crackers and freeze-dried banana and apple snacks can all be options for kid friendly food.
Halloween does not have to be a sugar free for all. Substituting some of your traditional candy options with these ideas may be key to keeping sugar intake down.
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