Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No-Deprivation Halloween Diet Tips

Whether you’re handing out the treats or will have to deal with the pillowcases full of goodies your kids bring home (or both!) Halloween can cause quite the candy conundrum. But you and your kids don’t have to miss out on the fun to avoid turning into Augustus Gloop. Follow Gladwyne-based dietitian and family nutritionist, Emma Fogt‘s tips for a happy, healthy Halloween.

You’ll already have to deal with the loot the kids bring home, so do yourself a favor and opt for calorie-free or healthier treats. “This year, instead of handing out tons of candy, opt for more stickers, mini pumpkins, mini toys and dollar-store gifts like fake tattoos, stick on gems, crayons, pencils, erasers or sticky notes,” suggests Fogt. “Or passing out more nutritious foods such as; individually wrapped Fig Newtons, dried fruits, pretzels , baked chips or popcorn.”

“Make sure to feed the children and yourself before trick-or-treating, even if it is early,” says Fogt. “I guarantee your kids—and you— will eat less candy on a fuller stomach.”

The amount of candy kids collect in one night goes far beyond the USDA’s advice of having approximately 250 calories of discretionary calories per day. “Discretionary calories are those calories that contain added fats and sugars,” says Fogt. “It is so easy to overspend these discretionary calories on a normal day, but it’s especially difficult at Halloween time.” So, spread them out. If you really love Reese’s, figure out how many you can have in a day, enjoy them, and then opt for nutrition-packed whole foods for the rest of the day.”

“Have candy only after dinner, not as a snack or when you are hungry,” says Fogt. “If you start to eat candy on an empty stomach, you will; fill up on these non-nutritive calories.” Instead, keep fresh fruits on the table. “If you are truly hungry, an apple will sound just as good as a candy bar,” says Fogt.

Halloween Fruit Bites

Great way to have fun and get your kids to eat apples and nuts. Fruit bites is a healthy snack for kids that you can make together.

To make these little bites you can use pears or apples. Any nuts will work. We used peanuts.

1. Wash apples and pears. Dry them.
2. Quarter a pear, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter.
3. Sliver the peanuts.
4. Cut them into smaller teeth looking pieces.
5. Press the your peanuts into the pear to make teeth.

“As the parent, you are responsible not only for what and where your kids eat, but when,” says Fogt, who recommends having kids pick any two pieces of candy after dinner and stashing the rest during the day. “After some time, the ‘best’ candy is gone and you can chuck the rest. The younger your children, the more control you have over their food choices, timing of meals and when they eat.”

Leaving candy out in view is a fast-tack to a sugar fest. “Brian Wansink, a Cornell researcher and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think says that we eat more of visible foods because it causes us to think about it more, and every time you see the candy bowl you have to decide whether … you want a piece of candy or not. “Don’t get sucked into the ‘see food diet’ mentality that makes you want to eat the candy simply because you see it and not because you are hungry.”

When you experience a sweet craving it may be that you are actually hungry for real food. “Ride the crave wave for a few minutes and ask yourself if you really want candy right now or real food,” says Fogt. “Take a break and get up. Go outside or eat some fresh fruit and see if the sweet carving subsides.”

“You can also choose to get the candy out of the house,” says Fogt. “Donate the candy to a shelter or homeless facility, a food bank or a senior center that would appreciate it.”

Keeping cheap candy you don’t like in the house—if you aren’t a fan of Peppermint Patties, for instance, handing them out will be a lot easier than handing out your favorite. “But why not get a little of your own yummy, high-quality dark chocolate?” suggest Fogt. “Eating a good piece of dark chocolate slowly is rich, sweet and satisfying, and it also provides antioxidants.”
resource: blogs.phillymag.com

   Eerie eyeball snacks for Halloween

One of my favorite creepy snacks to serve at a Halloween party is Eerie Eyeballs. I originally got the recipe from Britta Blvd and it’s a pretty easy one with great impact. I love seeing people (especially kids) squirm and squeal over these chewy, gummy, and freaky little bites!

The trick to these is in the mold. My favorite mold is a simple plastic paint palette. They are cheap, easy to store, and have a perfect round shape and a smooth, slick surface. Best of all, you can find them at any store that sells craft supplies. Just make sure you’ve never used them for paint before — we want these eyeballs to be edible!
eerie eyeballs snackspaint palette
You can also use any other mold you can find that has a round shape. Some suggestions are truffle molds and round ice cube trays. Or, you can just put the mixture in a bowl and use a melon baller, but your results won’t be nearly as consistent or round.
Eerie Eyeballs
  • 3 oz box (that’s the small size) of lemon gelatin (can be sugar-free)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 8 oz cream cheese (can be lowfat/Neufchatel)
Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler, add marshmallows, and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Add pineapple juice and cream cheese. Beat until well blended. Cool slightly. If you are using molds, spray them very lightly with non-stick cooking spray, then pour the mixture in the molds and leave to set in the fridge. To decorate the eyes, use food coloring (liquid or paste) and a tiny (clean!) paint brush and get creative. You will need black food coloring for the pupils, but the irises can be any color you like.
eerie eyeballs
You can have a lot of fun with the painting. The eyes can be realistic and creepy, or wild and crazy (think cat eyes, bloodshot eyes, or eyelids and huge lashes!). I tend to go to parties with kids at them, and I don’t want to gross them out, so I make the eyes pretty tame. Just ordinary blue eyes is still enough to make most people shiver to see one being eaten, though!
This recipe will make a LOT of eyeballs, especially if you are using the palettes as your molds, since they are not very deep. If you don’t have a lot of molds, you might want to try to cut this recipe in half.
Here are some fun ways to display the eyeballs:
  • Arrange them on a platter in the middle of the buffet table.
  • Put one or two eyes on the edge of each plate, including serving platters and your guests’ dining plates.
  • Put one or two on top of a cupcake or use them to create a border around a cake.
  • Spear them with a swizzle stick or umbrella and use them to decorate a cocktail glass (Note that if your eyeballs are flat, you might want to put two of them back to back for this idea, to create a fuller-looking eye.) Add a drop of red food coloring on the stab wound and really gross them out!
  • Put one on your tongue and walk up to a guest at your party and stick your tongue out. This is sure to get a reaction, especially if chew the eyeball up right after they see it!
Got any favorite creepy treats that you serve at your Halloween parties? I’d love to hear about them!