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Life and Religion

Halloween kicks off holiday season of gorging
Tips to keep your family from overindulging
 
Published Thursday, October 24, 2013
by Staff Reports

clientuploads/v38n13photos/halloweencandy_300.jpg
PHOTO/MICROSOFT IMAGES
An average child consumes the equivalent of 4,800 calories on a typical Halloween.

Halloween is almost here and represents the springboard from fall into the holiday season of indulgence and overeating. With obesity rates skyrocketing, experts say that now is the time to think about prevention. 

According to the Centers for Disease and Control, more than one third of Americans (37.5 percent) are classified as obese, and childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

It is estimated that on a typical Halloween, an average child consumes the equivalent of 4,800 calories, 1.5 cups of fat and 3 cups of sugar.

The experts at Kidliga, a company which makes right-size portion dishware for children, and Livliga, a website specializing in kid-friendly recipes, offer the following tips to help you and your family avoid overindulging now through New Year’s Day:

• Halloween freezers and deadlines: Parents give kids a deadline for enjoying candy and then toss out what’s left over or freeze it for later.

• Eat before Trick or Treat: Eat dinner as a family before heading out for “Trick or Treat” and then, don’t use the car. Walk the route! It is a terrific bonding activity for families and you’d be surprised how many calories you can burn on a crisp, autumn night.

• Emphasize portion sizes: The USDA recommends 1 cup of fruit or vegetables as a serving size, 3/4 or 1/2 cup for starches or grains, 2-6 ounces of protein and 1/8 of a cup (2 tablespoons) of a condiment, dip, jam or salad dressing. Sticking to these sizes (even on Halloween or Thanksgiving) assures you won’t overeat and may even help you with weight loss.

• Make everyday meals yummy yet balanced: To feel full and satisfied longer and to avoid overeating, make sure each meal is nutritional and balanced with a fruit or vegetable, protein and starch.  Too much of just one category will leave you hungry.

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