Tips for a Heart Healthy Halloween

Around Halloween, it’s easy to be tempted by sugary treats and candy. Enjoying the season is one thing, but don’t let yourself lose sight of your health goals! To help you stay on track and fight the temptation, we’ve compiled some ways to make this Halloween heart healthy

Fill Up on the Good Stuff First

Whether you’re off to a Halloween party, going trick-or-treating with the children in your life, or staying in to pass out candy, make sure to eat a balanced meal full of protein, fruits, and vegetables. You can start with some fruit, and then have a quick, hearty meal like pork and chile stew, which will warm you up and keep you full so you’ll be less likely to reach for candy or other sugary sweets.

Make a Healthy Alternative

How many times have you gone to a Halloween party to find nothing but sweets, starchy snacks, alcohol, and soda? Take control over the parties you attend this year by offering to make a snack or appetizer to share. Add a festive twist to a low-fat chocolate pudding by creating a spiderweb out of the vanilla topping, or add a few cookie crumbles on top to make an adult version of dirt n’ worms. Or, add some fruit to the mix by making white chocolate-covered strawberries with ghost faces. The host will love the help and you can bet your fellow partygoers will appreciate a healthier alternative.

Save the Candy for Trick-or-Treaters

If you’re planning on staying in this Halloween and think you’ll be tempted by that bag of candy, hold off buying it until the big day. If you think you’ll be tempted to eat a few bites while you’re handing out candy, consider handing out healthier alternatives, like hot chocolate packs, animal crackers, or granola bars. You can even hand out non-food items, like glow sticks, stickers, and temporary tattoos. Not only will you add variety to children's Halloween buckets, but kids with food allergies will love a treat they can enjoy.

Get Moving

Trick-or-treating is more than a way for children to get candy - it’s exercise! Walking around the neighborhood for an hour or two is a great way to get in heart healthy exercise while spending quality time with the kids in your life. If you’re trick-or-treating this year, avoid temptations to eat candy throughout the night by making a healthy alternative to snack on, like homemade trail mix.

If you’re not trick-or-treating, you can still sneak in some exercise. Try our tips for getting more exercise or see if you can do some quick exercises between trick-or-treaters. With any luck, you’ll not only strengthen your heart, but also distract yourself from snacking on your candy!

Give Away Extra Candy

If you bought way too much candy and are tempted to eat all the leftovers, give it away! Thousands of dentists across the country participate in Halloween Candy Buy Back Programs, which help you earn some money from your uneaten candy. Plus, participating dentists donate the candy to U.S. troops, so you can feel even better about your healthy choice. If you can’t find a buy back program near you, reach out to local nonprofits, children’s hospitals, or shelters to see if they’ll take the candy

Halloween can be a season of temptation, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can recommit to your health goals and find creative ways to celebrate the holiday. Your healthy choices may even motivate those around you to follow your exampl

This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice.  Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition.  Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.