Americans have a tradition of celebrating holidays with food, and Halloween is no different. Except this holiday is marked by an abundance of candy and sugary treats.
The good news is that it is still possible to have a scary good time this Halloween without wrecking your weight loss progress or making yourself sick. Of course Halloween may look different this year due to COVID-19, with fewer people trick-or-treating and more drive-through options for celebrations.
Here are a few tips to help you survive Halloween after weight loss surgery.
Take the emphasis off the treats.
When you’re stocking up for Halloween, buy non-food goodies to hand out to trick-or-treaters like glow sticks/necklaces, spider rings, bounce balls, stickers, colorful pencils, stamps, fun erasers, balloons, fake tattoos, bubbles, slime, hand finger puppets, etc.
Don’t keep candy in the house.
If you do choose to hand out candy, get your candy on the day of Halloween rather than stocking up early to avoid the temptation of snacking on candy that’s kept in the house. If you have leftover candy, donate it, toss it or take it to work with you the next day. Some dentist offices even offer a Halloween candy buyback or trade in program to help you get rid of leftover sweets. Store any candy you do choose to keep for your kids in the freezer to cut down on how much candy they eat at one time.
Buy candy you don’t like to hand out to trick-or-treaters.
Remember, you’re not buying for yourself, anyway. If you’re a chocolate lover, buy non-chocolate candy to hand out instead. Most kids like most candy, and if they don’t like it, they’ll pass it on to someone who does so don’t worry about not pleasing your trick-or-treaters!
Find balance and be mindful of what you do eat.
Eat a well balanced meal of protein and veggies before heading out to trick-or-treat with your kids or before heading to the Halloween party. If you’re full, you’ll be less tempted to sneak bites of candy and other treats. Keep in mind that each bite size candy ranges from about 80-100 calories per bite. It only takes 100 calories extra a day to lead to an extra 10+ pounds by the end of the year. So those one or two pieces of bite size candies can really add up.
Make healthy Halloween themed snacks.
Instead of taking the same old sugary treats to the party, try a healthy Halloween snack instead like the recipes below!
Healthy Halloween Recipes to Try
- Mini chocolate chips
Peel Bananas and cut in half. Stick 2 mini chocolate chips, horizontally, 1-2 inches from the non-cut end of the banana.
- Clementine / tangerine
Grab a black permanent marker and decorate your clementines or tangerines like Jack-o-lanterns.
- Green apples quartered
- Sunflower butter
- Sunflower seeds
- Strawberries sliced
- 1-2 googly eyes per apple bite
Cut the middles out of each quarter of the apple to create a mouth. Don’t worry about perfection, you are filling this gap with sunbutter anyway so if you cut too deep, you can always just cover it up and no one will know. Coat the inside of the cut gap with a filling of sunflower butter. Place four sunflower seeds on the top of the “mouth” for the teeth. Place one sliced strawberry inside the mouth for the tongue. “Glue” each eye above the mouth with a dab of sunbutter to stick. Serve.
Carrot Witch Fingers
- Slivered almonds
- Cream cheese
Peel carrots (or leave unpeeled if you prefer) and cut into finger-length sections. Use the peeler to shape the end into fingertips (there should be a flat area where the nail/slivered almond goes). Use a little bit of cream cheese as your glue to secure the nail/slivered almond in place. Serve by itself or with a dip.
- Cheddar cheese, cubed
- Black olives
Assemble your skewers alternating between the cheese cubes and the black olives. Display on a Halloween themed plate or standing up in a glass.
Bloody Hot Dog Fingers
- 12 hot dogs
- 1 sweet onion
Cut the hot dog in half and with a small paring knife, carefully cut off a small layer off each half of the hot dog at the tip (this will be the area where the fingernail would be). Right below the area where the fingernail will be, make 3 small cuts on an angle, then again in the opposite direction and again where the knuckle would be. Once the hot dogs boil, this will give them a more realistic look. Do this step with each hot dog until all your fingers are made. Cut the onion in half and remove the 2 layers of onion skin. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, drop the onion pieces and the hot dogs into the pot. Boil for about 5 minutes, and then drain. Using a knife, cut the onion into strips and then into small pieces that look like fingernails. (Try to keep them the same size as the hot dog so they look real and the onion fits properly.) Add a few drops of ketchup on the tip of the hot dogs, then place the onion “nail” on top, creating the finger. Once all your fingers are done, garnish with ketchup, and serve.
Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits
- 12 clementines/tangerines, peeled and separated
- 3 cups fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
- 1 large container Plain Greek yogurt
- 3 to 4 drops stevia or sugar alternative
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Into a decorative glass, layer fresh pineapple on the bottom and mandarin orange slices on top of it. Mix yogurt with stevia/ sugar alternative and vanilla extract. Top fruit with yogurt mixture and serve.