Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Myth: It’s impossible to eat healthy around Halloween.

Candy corns
Answer: BUSTED!

YES, YOU CAN survive Halloween. This time of year is often a challenge for those who try to make healthy choices but feel they are surrounded by an environment that has candy available almost everywhere. At the supermarket you can find large displays or even entire aisles dedicated to Halloween candy.

Think you can escape when you’re at work? Probably not. This becomes even harder after Halloween when leftover candy from trick or treating is toted into offices and workplaces.

Here are some tips for your Halloween survival kit:

  • Be prepared for this time of year. Bring healthy and filling snacks to work such as fruits, veggies, nuts, popcorn, hummus and whole wheat crackers or low-fat yogurt. You will be less tempted to fill up on candy if you have an alternative handy. Eating breakfast or something before you head to work will also fill you up and help you walk right on by those office temptations.

  • Ask officemates if they can place the treats in an out-of-the-way place. Why? Studies have shown that if food is in plain sight it is more likely to be eaten, which is a great idea for when parents want their kids to eat more fruits. It’s not helpful when candy is left out and you pass by it every time you walk through the office.

  • OK, indulge but use portion control. Try this mindful eating approach. This will take a few minutes. Open your favorite small snack-size candy. Notice the color and texture. Smell the aroma of the candy. The purpose of this activity is to pay attention to the entire experience of eating. This is part of eating mindfully. Then, start taking small bites. Try to take as many small bites as possible. Each time you bite and chew, think about what it feels like and what it tastes like. Enjoy the experience! Being mindful when eating helps us to slow down our eating. We can then experience the many aspects of eating. For more information about mindful eating, go to

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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