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Monday, October 5, 2009

Healthy Halloween Treats

As Halloween approaches, treats take center stage. But even during Halloween, sweets should be limited.

Overindulgence in refined carbohydrates like white sugar and white flour has been associated with stomachaches, headaches, cavities, mood swings, yeast infections, insulin resistance, and increased levels of triglycerides in the blood. It can also aggravate certain medical conditions, like asthma and arthritis, and increase the risk for others, like obesity, heart disease, type two diabetes and cancer.

Consider giving art supplies, stickers or small games (sold as party favors) as treats instead of food.

If you plan to give edible treats, follow these three rules:

1. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Real foods, even if they are not whole foods, are always better than fake foods.

2. For any recipe, use no more than ¼ cup of a natural sweetener: local unfiltered honey, 100 % maple syrup, or date sugar.

3. Limit children (and adults) to one treat per day.

If you’re going to make your own treats, consider
  • My recipe for Dark Chocolate Cashew Cups. These can be made with other nuts, like pistachios or almonds, or unsweetened dried fruit, like cherries or apricot halves.
  • Make a dark chocolate bark by stirring dried unsweetened cranberries and raw pumpkin seeds into melted chocolate, pouring it into a shallow pan to set in the fridge, and breaking it into pieces to serve.

If you only have time to assemble treats, consider giving out portions of
  • Trail mix made from a combination of raw nuts, raw seeds, dried unsweetened fruit, dried unsweetened coconut, and/or dark chocolate chips
  • Whole wheat pretzels dipped in dark chocolate
  • Whole wheat pretzels dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with chopped raw walnuts or unsweetened dried shredded coconut

If you’re shopping for treats at your farmers’ market or local grocery, consider
  • Pieces of seasonal whole fruit like apples and pears
  • Lara bars (made with dried fruits and nuts)
  • Raw almonds in individual portions (available at Trader Joe’s)

1 comment:

Plan B Inc said...

Hi! Love your blog, but the link for Reducing Risks Associated with Childhood Immunization appears to be broken... and I really want to read that bit of gold!