By Dani Renouf, RD
Halloween may only be one day of the year, but it seems that the celebrations and treats that come with this festivity often lurk in the pantry for months to come. Sometimes, clients tell me they have so much candy in the house that there is enough to last them past Christmas!
For those who are on a kidney-friendly diet, commercial candy bars and treats are often a source of simple sugars and unhealthy fats as well as potassium and phosphate. Although Halloween candy often comes in smaller-sized individual packaging, the bulk purchasing of these foods leads to more routine snacking, well past All Hallows’ Eve.
To enjoy the festivities while continuing on the track of healthy eating, I offer the following simple tricks for delicious treats that may start some fun traditions in your household:
Trick #1. Take snacks to the max. During times of celebration, choose healthy snacks between meals to curb cravings for sweets. For example, choosing fruit like an apple or ½ cup yogurt and topped with pumpkin spice seasoning (made up of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger) is a great way to incorporate festive flavours into everyday foods. You can also try this great recipe for pear cupcakes with maple frosting (http://www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca/archives/1348/). Baked in small cupcake tins, these tasty morsels are a Halloween winner.
Trick #2. Play with your food. Take some small mandarin oranges on which you draw pumpkin faces using a black marker. Kids will love coming home to a bowl of edible Jack-O-Lanterns packed full of nutrition and flavor. Fill a clear bag with popcorn and tie the top to make popcorn ghosts by drawing faces on the bags with a black marker.
Trick #3. Say “Goodbye”. If you have a lot of candy left over after October 31, please consider donating it to your local charity, as these treats can be distributed among a larger group of people. If you do decide to save the treats, consider freezing them or storing them out of plain view.
Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween!