Healthy Ways To Celebrate Halloween

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Halloween is the spookiest holiday when it comes to candy consumption. Americans spend almost $2 billion on Halloween candy each year, which can take its toll on your teeth and your health. Luckily there are many other ways you can celebrate that are good for you. QUESTION: HOW BAD IS CANDY FOR OUR HEALTH? Candy provides calories in the form of sugar and fat, with very few nutrients. If you don’t have health problems, a little candy may not be such a bad thing, but it depends on how much candy you eat and how often you indulge. Small amounts of candy eaten once or twice a week may improve longevity, but eating large amounts of candy, eating it every day or eating it throughout the day does not improve health or longevity and often damages the body because it displaces more nutritious food in the diet. QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY CANDIES OR TREATS THAT ARE GOOD FOR US US? Chocolate – contains antioxidants that may reduce heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and tannins that reduce cavities Raisins – contains resveratrol which reduces heart disease and cancer, also contains a chemical that reduces oral bacteria Nuts, Seeds and Peanut butter - contain resveratrol and healthy fats and minerals that reduce heart disease and cancer and aid weight loss when eaten in small amounts Xylitol gum & candy – kills oral bacteria QUESTION: WHAT HEALTHY WAYS CAN WE CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN? Kids eat way too much sugar, candy and other refined carbs. They need more fruits, vegetables, fiber and protein for optimal health. Start a new Halloween tradition by making spooky Halloween treats that are fun, nutritious and take the emphasis off the candy. Witches Chicken Fingers – cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into jagged finger shapes. Dip in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs, drizzle with oil and bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle paprika on each end to make finger nails. Serve with BBQ sauce. Eyeball Tacos – combine ground meat with taco seasoning and form into meatballs. Bake at 350 F 15 minutes. Fill taco shell with lettuce and salsa. Place 2 meatballs on top. Put a glob of sour cream and an olive slice on each meatball to form eyeball. Goblin Toes – scrub fingerling potatoes and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Season with salt and insert an almond slice on one end to form a toenail Bat Wings dipped in Blood – marinate chicken wings in ½ c tamari, 2 t gingerroot, ¼ t crushed red pepper, 1 t 5-spice powder & 2 cloves garlic overnight. Place wings in baking pan and bake at 400 F 15 minutes, brush with marinade and bake 15-20 minutes longer. Serve with Marinara Blood Dip. Worms – slice hotdogs into julienne strips. Boil in water for 5 minutes or until strips curl up like worms. Serve with ketchup and mustard. Green Slime – combine 10 oz. frozen drained spinach, 4 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup yogurt, 1/3 cup salsa, 2 scallions, 1 clove garlic, and salt & pepper. Refrigerate 2 hours. Let sit out 30 minutes before serving with crudités or bones. Vomit – combine cream style corn and a little soy sauce. Add pieces of carrot, peas and any leftovers to make it look like vomit.