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Happy Healthy Halloween

October 22, 2012

Ware, MA (October 22, 2012) - Halloween is only one night, but for many it’s a holiday that leads to temptation that could last a month.

“While it’s ok to occasional indulge in the bite side treats that Halloween offers, there is always the risk that one treat can lead to many,” said Dr Kirti Nagpal, BMP-Quabbin Pediatrics. “Eventually, we find ourselves with unintentional weight gain and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!”

The smaller than a full size bar offer built-in portion control for children and adults but the trick is to stop after one.  The average fun size candy bar is 100 calories, these popular fun-size treats can add up quickly.  “It's far too easy to eat four of five "little" candies, that can easily add up to 400 or 500 calories in no time,” said Dr. Nagpal.  

Dr. Nagpal recommends families consider the Healthy Halloween Tips offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics which includes:

         Eat a good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating to discourage filling up on Halloween treats. 

         Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.

         Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

         Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

“Families should consider working together to increase their physical activity to help balance the extra calories eaten during the Halloween season.  “To "burn off" an additional 200 calories of Halloween treats you would need to: walk 40 minutes, run 20 minutes, bicycle 25 minutes, or swim 25 minutes, based on a 150 lb. person,” said Dr. Nagpal. 

Before you eat the piece of Halloween candy, remember that knowing the calorie count is the key.   Most fun size bars, including 3 Musketeers, Butterfingers, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate,  Kit Kat , Snickers, M & M Plain or Peanut, or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, average between 80 to 100 calories each, 2 Hershey Kisses are 50 calories and 20 pieces of candy corn 100 calories.

“Avoid being restrictive,” said Dr. Nagpal. “Forbidden treats can be even more tempting.  Most foods, even sweets, can be a part of a healthy diet as long as they are eaten sparingly.  Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season, a fun time of year for enjoying friends and family, the trick is to know how to meet the challenges that the holidays brings to diet and exercise too.” 


The Physician’s at Baystate Medical Practices -Quabbin Pediatric Practice include Dr. Scott Siege, Dr. Jeannette Tokarz and Dr. Kirti Nagpal.    Located on the campus of Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, office hours are scheduled to accommodate the needs of working families, including evening hours Monday through Wednesday, and priority is given to same-day "sick visits".  For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of the pediatricians at Baystate Medical Practice – Quabbin Pediatrics please call 413-967-2040.