A Dietitian’s Halloween Candy Recommendation for Kids with Food Allergies

Consider purchasing YumEarth Organic Snack Pack Candies for handing out on Halloween.

Some of your little trick-or-treaters will have dangerous food allergies and a treat they can eat will be appreciated. YumEarth products are completely, allergen-free.

Another good reason to choose YumEarth is that they color their products with fruit and vegetable juices as well as other naturally occurring colors derived from roots – there is no artificial dye in our products. See this post for the dangers of artificial food color.

These are the candies that YumEarth has on Amazon that come in snack pack sizes. The last product is also gluten free.

This choice is gluten-free


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After School Snack Attacks

SONY DSCAfter school snacks are more than just a habit, most kids really need that middle of the afternoon fuel. Afternoon snacking helps refuel kids and may also help them study better. Kids generally eat smaller portions than adults and need to refuel more often.

Good-for-you snacks start with a proper pantry. Stock your refrigerator and shelves with foods that are fast — not fussy.

These ideas for healthy snacks keep fat and calories at bay and maximize whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Best of all, you can make them all in 10 minutes or less.

Some ideas include:

  • Toast one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin. Top with Canadian bacon, a tomato slice, and low-fat cheese. Microwave until the cheese melts.
  • Mash a half banana into peanut butter and spread on a whole-grain bagel. Be aware that large bagels can have up to 400 calories each, so choose a small — 2 ounce — bagel.
  • Mix cold leftover chicken or convenience-type chunk chicken with seedless grapes, sunflower seeds, plain yogurt and a dash of curry powder. Stuff into a hollowed-out green pepper or whole-wheat pita pocket.
  • Spread one-half of a small cinnamon-raisin bagel with part-skim ricotta cheese. Top with apple slices.
  • Layer soft mini corn or flour tortillas with shredded low-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Microwave until the cheese melts. Slice into bite-size pie shapes.
  • Spread a brown rice cake with ricotta cheese and fresh strawberries or low-sugar, spreadable fruit. Or try spreading it with herbed goat cheese and sliced olives.
  • Top a baked potato with plain yogurt and Cajun seasoning. Don’t like spice? Top with cottage cheese.
  • Spread raisin toast with apple butter.  Serve with a string cheese stick.
  • Spread a slice of whole-grain crispbread (Wasa crispbread, Ry-Krisp, others) with fruit-flavored low-fat yogurt or 100 percent fruit jam.
  • 100% Whole Wheat crackers with mozzarella or low fat cheese
  • Make regular oatmeal in the microwave and top with dried fruit and skim milk.
  • Serve low fat graham crackers with peanut butter with a glass of milk, dried fruit mixed with sunflower seeds.
  • Make a sandwich of a whole wheat tortilla rolled around low-fat cheese, salsa and lettuce.
  • Baby carrots and dip in low fat salad dressing.
  • Pop popcorn and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • Blend nonfat yogurt and frozen mango chunks into a smoothie.
  • Peel bananas, wrap in plastic and freeze.
  • Berries, 1 tsp ground flaxseed and 1 cup plain yogurt.
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How to Get the Whole Family into a Healthy Lifestyle

Make healthy living a family affair and lead your family down the path of exercise and proper diet.

It makes it easier if everyone is on the same page as far as lifestyle is concerned. It is difficult for one to eat healthy if two or three others have fast food and junk around.

Families doing exercise and healthy eating together are going to be more supportive… doing things, having common goals for a family is very important. It helps bring the family together whatever those goals are.

Top tips for fine-tuning your entire family’s well-being.

Set modest, simple health goals. Take baby steps so your cooking slowly evolves from fattening to fit. Incorporate fruits and fat-free snacks into children’s diets. Also start slow with light exercise such as walking for a few minutes, a couple of times a week and gradually increase the frequency and duration.

Get the kids involved. Let them find healthy, kid friendly recipes and help them learn how to prepare them. Kids love to make meals that involve creativity. Spring Rolls, Taco Bowls (brown rice or quinoa, chicken, fajita vegetables, tomatoes, salsa, reduced fat sharp cheddar), Kebabs, Salad Bar Night are all popular.

Reinforce healthy behavior. Don’t get discouraged… even if your family won’t eat every morsel of the healthy meal you’ve made. Be pleased with even the smallest progress.

Focus on motivation. Encourage your children to be more like their favorite sports idol. All professional athletes have fitness trainers and registered dietitians because optimal exercise and nutrition helps performance.

Go public. Commit to a walkathon or another event involving a large group of people. Such events are great motivators because they get you to train.

Associate health with favorite activities. Your husband loves golf and your daughter loves cheerleading? Use these loves to get them to exercise. Knowing that exercise will help them to excel at their favorite activities is a great way to get them motivated.

Exert influence, not control. Don’t force exercise and healthy eating down the throats of your loved ones. They will be more inclined to change their lifestyle if they think it’s their idea.

Lead by example. Be a role model. If you make healthy lifestyle changes, your family is likely to follow suit.

Make it easy for your family to be healthy. Don’t obstruct attempts to be healthy. If your kids want to play soccer with the neighbors, let them. Disguise exercise by suggesting you and your children walk down the street to see what the neighbors have done to their house.

Do activities together. The family that walks together, talks together. Plan activities that will spawn healthy bodies AND healthy relationships.

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