Eating Healthy During Halloween

By Holly Bieler
Updated on 13. Oct. 2020

Halloween doesn't have to mean overindulging. Here's how to enjoy all your favorite Halloween treats while staying on track.

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While Halloween 2020 will probably look a little different for your family than years past, chances are one thing will stay the same: the temptation to indulge. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet night at home with family or taking part in socially-distanced trick-or-treating, ghoul and goblin season provides plenty of opportunity to derail your healthy habits. To help combat those wicked cravings, we’ve compiled our top tips to staying healthy this holiday season.

Have a plan.

As always, the easiest way to keep from overindulging is not to leave it to chance. Make a list of the holiday activities you’ll be attending for Halloween, from virtual happy hours to distanced get-togethers, and take stock of what the food situation will be at each. Next, mark the occasions where you’ll want to give yourself a cheat meal, and those at which you’ll be fine sticking with your everyday diet. If it’s tradition for you to snag a few Almond Joys from your kid’s stash on Halloween night, mark that as a cheat. If you’re just stopping by a friend’s socially-distanced BBQ or outdoor get-together for a couple hours, mark that you won’t be cheating there, and stick with it. By scheduling out your eating this way, you can enjoy many of the foods that make the holiday season special without overindulging in them or falling into unhealthy eating habits.

Halloween doesn’t have to mean unhealthy.

While Halloween’s culinary tradition is largely staked by refined sugar in all its various forms, there are limitless nutrition-packed recipes that are just as celebratory as any mini Butterfinger. Our Halloween Deviled Eggs with Olives are a fun Halloween appetizer that are low in calories and fat but high in protein, or try our nutrient-rich Creepy Halloween Cauliflower, perfect for any Halloween get-together or a fun, spooky appetizer to serve kids. Pumpkin is another great option; its rich in a variety of nutrients, from vitamin C to fiber, and makes for a beautiful, festive base for healthy Halloween recipes. Our Braised Pumpkin with Cauliflower or Pumpkin with Bacon and Garlic are too delicious, vitamin-packed favorites that are perfect for fall. These Pumpkins Stuffed With Couscous are another stunning and healthful favorite.

Think beyond the stomach.

Halloween isn’t about mini chocolate bars; it’s about scaring people! This the mindset we’d suggest adopting if you’re trying to stay healthy this hollow’s eve, at least. Indeed, Halloween is the rare holiday whose principal activities don’t center around eating, meaning there are lots of ways to take part in festivities while maintaining your eating restrictions. Pumpkin carving is a great way to enjoy Halloween without the aid of food or drink, and is especially good for social distancing or zoom parties as well. Scary movie nights (the American Film Institute recently released their top 100 horror movies of all time), face painting, or spooky story telephone, wherein each person takes turns finishing a scary story, are all great family halloween activities. 

Cut yourself a break.

Time and again, experts say that the first rule to maintaining a healthy diet for life is moderation. Never is it more important to be cognisant of this fact than during holidays. Remember that food and cooking isn’t just about eating, but the memories forged over their preparation and enjoyment. This rings especially true during the holidays, when more time is carved out for connecting with loved ones. So don’t beat yourself up if you eat a few more cookies than you should have while baking with your kids this Halloween, or enjoy a few too many of the mini Hershey’s bars you loved growing up. Now, more than ever, it’s important to give yourself a break, wake up, and just do better the next morning.

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