Tips to Scare Off Halloween Pounds
Halloween can be less than kind to the waistline. Between holiday parties and baskets filled with high-calorie sweets, it's little surprise the number on the scale tends to rise in late October. So how do you prevent packing on the pounds while still participating in all the spooky festivities?
Foods and beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners provide a simple way to enjoy your favorite treats without the additional calories. For example, choosing sugar-free chocolate will save 50 calories a day. Over the course of a year, that daily calorie savings could result in a five-pound weight loss. Drinking a diet soda can shave off 150 calories a day - or 15 pounds - by year's end.
Here are a few more tips to surviving Halloween without gaining weight:
- If you are throwing a party, serve reduced-fat popcorn or fat-free pretzel twists or sticks. Toss in some chocolate candies, as an added treat, but watch portion sizes.
- Instead of caramel apples, try serving whole or sliced apples with fat-free caramel sauce.
- Cut out bread (try a reduced-fat or light version) with a Halloween cookie cutter. Serve with smoked turkey, reduced-fat cheese, tomato, lettuce and other sandwich "fixings." (You can also send this in your child’s lunchbox. Kids will love this "spooky sandwich").
- After trick or treating, allow your children to choose a designated amount of candy (such as five pieces) to eat that night.
- Use sugar substitutes and applesauce to replace oil and sugar when baking treats for Halloween. Explain that you are using these substitutions to make these treats more healthy.
- After Halloween is over, let your child pick one treat to eat each day. You can put this in his or her lunchbox as a special surprise.
- Choose candy that is sugar-free or is made with a sugar substitute, or is reduced-fat.
And here are two low-cal and kid-friendly recipes sure to "scare off" any weight gain.
Ghosts in the Graveyard
- 1 package sugar-free instant chocolate pudding
- skim milk
- 2 large containers of whipped topping, thawed
- 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 package of sandwich cookies (oblong shape)
- strawberry or raspberry jam
Mix pudding as directed, using only half the amount of skim milk indicated on the back of the box. Fold in one container of whipped topping. Spoon evenly into pan, as base of graveyard. Before serving, use a dollop of whipped cream throughout the "graveyard" to make "ghosts." Use chocolate morsels for eyes. Place sandwich cookies throughout the graveyard as tombstones. Gently spoon strawberry or raspberry jam over tombstones to look like fake blood.
- 1 package (4 serving size) lime gelatin
- 1 cup light Karo syrup
- 8 teaspoons (or 24 packets) sugar substitute
- shredded carrots
- peanut butter
- 5 quarts popcorn (try light or reduced-fat)
- 1 box of ice cream cones (waffle type)
Combine lime gelatin, syrup and sugar substitute in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over 5 quarts of popped corn. Form into popcorn balls (using buttered hands). Place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Spread a small amount of peanut butter on top of each popcorn ball. Add shredded carrots for "hair." Top with ice cream cone. Additional toppings can be added for eyes, nose, etc. per your desire. Apples can also be used as a substitute for the witch’s "popcorn face."