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Berry healthy articleMay is National Strawberry Month, and this little heart-shaped fruit can be a big help to your heart. According to research, strawberries may play an important role in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.

“Strawberries are at the top of the list of foods I recommend for packing the most nutrition into everyday meals, especially when considering cardiovascular health,” said Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, LDN. “It’s an easy sell with their versatility and naturally sweet taste.”

Here are 12 more reasons to enjoy California strawberries:

1. High in vitamin C (more per serving than an orange) and may boost immunity.

2. Considered a superfruit with loads of antioxidants and anthocyanins.

3. Versatile and can be added to both savory and sweet dishes.

4. Low in sugar, naturally sweet with only 45 calories per cup.

5. A source of potassium to support healthy blood pressure.

6. A good source of dietary fiber.

7. Available year-round and easy to freeze.

8. Grown by caring strawberry farmers who use sustainable farming practices.

9. Loved by kids and ideal for snacks and lunches.

10. Ideal for adding appeal to summertime dishes and special occasions.

11. Grown to perfection in ideal growing conditions along California’s coast.

12. Globally loved and voted America’s favorite fruit.

 

Try this recipe for a tasty way to enjoy strawberries:

Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Ginger Salsa
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Salsa:

Prepare at least one hour ahead.

1 English or seedless cucumber, finely chopped

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. cilantro, cut into strips

1 tsp. fresh ginger, freshly grated

1 yellow pepper, diced small

3-4 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 cups fresh California strawberries, hulled and diced small

Sauce:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

6 salmon fillets (or fish of choice), skinless

Preparation

Mix cucumbers, green onion, cilantro, ginger, yellow pepper and vinegar. Cover and chill at least one hour. Just before serving, add strawberries. In a small saucepan, melt butter with garlic over low heat. Stir in honey, soy sauce and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes; set aside. Prepare a charcoal grill; when ready, brush sauce on salmon pieces and place on a well-oiled fish-grilling rack. Place rack over coals about 4 inches from fire and grill approximately 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Brush with the sauce again after turning and again when done. Transfer to warm platter and top with salsa.

For more information and healthful recipes, follow @castrawberries on Facebook, or visit www.californiastrawberries.com.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.net.*

ID-10075961“Volunteering is a great way for families to spend time together. It can benefit a child’s psychological, social and intellectual development and instill a lifetime of generosity,” says Richard Peterson, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy® Child Care Learning Centers. “Children learn from and even mimic their parents’ actions; therefore, a family volunteering project can help to reinforce positive life lessons.”

Five Tips to Encourage Family Volunteering

Kiddie Academy (www.KiddieAcademy.com) offers the following tips for nurturing your child’s generous spirit during the holidays and throughout the year:

1. Remind your children that generosity isn’t only about donating money – volunteering your time and talents are a great way to share. Make hats for local hospitals, visit nursing home residents, or offer to host a reading event at a local library.

2. Demonstrate that volunteering can be an year round activity. Along with your child, plan an ongoing volunteering project that benefits a cause that’s close to your hearts. For example, a monthly visit to an animal rescue center to assist the staff with walking and feeding the pets.

3. Involve your child in donating outgrown clothes, toys and books to a local charity. Set up a designated “donate” box in your home, and encourage your child to participate in adding items to the box, and delivering them to the chosen charity each month.

4. Read books together that highlight the importance of kindness. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister and The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop all feature acts of generosity. Consider adding them to your home library.

5. To find a family volunteer opportunity in your community, visit the All for Good website ( http://www.allforgood.org/)

For more tips on finding “teachable moments” to help children learn about the rewards of generosity for themselves and for others, parents can visit the Kiddie Academy Family blog at: http://www.kafamilyessentials.com/.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

ID-100117214The holiday season is filled with opportunities for children to be caring and compassionate. And for parents, it starts with showing your kids how it’s done! Let your children see you helping elderly neighbors rake their leaves, being kind to those around you in crowded stores, collecting canned goods for the hungry.

Here are five easy ways to teach your kids values – and do some good for others – throughout the year.

Five Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids Values

By Kathy Saulitis

1. Talk to your children about issues affecting your neighborhood, your community and the world. When my oldest son was in elementary school and was involved in a holiday food drive, he didn’t immediately see why people needed help at all. His initial reaction was, “They just need to go get a job!” In simple language, I explained about income versus expenses and how the very people we were helping to feed may be working several jobs but still are short for food. As a young problem-solver, he thought for a while and then suggested ideas for how our country might deal with hunger in new ways. He got it!

2. Use the dinner hour to talk about reaching out to others. Do you have a neighbor that may be sick or lonely? Are there struggling families in your community? Do you know someone in the service who is deployed? Talk to your children about how they feel about these situations and get their input on ways your family can help.

3. Appeal to your children’s interests. Does your family love the outdoors? Do your kids like to get their hands dirty? Try volunteering for a park or beach clean-up or help plant a community garden. The more you draw on your children’s interests, the more motivated they become.

4. Find a hands-on, family-friendly volunteer project. You can find family-friendly project ideas and resources at www.generationOn.org or check out your local HandsOn Network affiliate.

5. Start a family tradition of volunteer service during the holidays. The holidays are times of excitement, tradition and family togetherness. When our children were younger, we would make Holiday Hope Chests to donate to area homeless shelters. It was fun to watch the kids choose with care their special gifts for children they imagined opening the boxes on Christmas morning.

When the holidays end and the new year begins, remember every day is an opportunity to teach your kids to care and share, be compassionate and have an attitude of gratitude for even the smallest things in life.

About the Author

Kathy Saulitis is senior vice president of programs for generationOn, an enterprise of Points of Light that helps young people change the world through volunteer service.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

ID-10020857Have Yourself a Healthy Thanksgiving with Tips from THE DOCTORS

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is fast approaching and days are becoming filled with holiday planning, shopping and preparation. This time of year gives you the opportunity to gather with friends and family, cook festive meals and give thanks for your many blessings. But this jolly time of year can also have extreme implications on your health. THE DOCTORS share the following tips to ensure a happy and healthy holiday season:

Three Quick Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

· Eat Walnuts: Eat a handful before your meal. They will help fill you up, and the antioxidants can improve your artery function and reduce inflammation.

· Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks: Alcohol removes your inhibitions, so if you drink before you eat, you’re going to overeat.

· Sit down and chew your food: You will enjoy your food more if you chew it slowly.

Healthy Holiday Snacking Tips

• Beware of foods loaded with butter and cheese: Steamed broccoli is healthy and low in fat, but when smothered in cheese and butter, it can pack an additional 215 calories and 16 grams of fat in just one cup!

• Watch out for salads: Leafy greens and salads seem like a healthy choice, but when loaded with high-fat, high-cholesterol cheeses and dressing, such as a Cobb salad, these verdant concoctions contain more than 1,000 calories and 71 grams of fat!

• Avoid saturated fats and fried foods: These are guaranteed to heavily increase the calorie count. Opt for baked options, rather than fried and reach for lean meats such as white turkey.

Beat-the-Bloat Tricks for Feeling Less Full

· Wear a watch: Keeping track of time and eating slower will help you notice when you’re getting full. Wait a couple minutes before returning for seconds – this will give your body the chance to digest food intake.

· Drink Water: This may seem like a no-brainer, but drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you eat 20% few calories. If you feel bloated, have a glass of peppermint tea instead, which helps prevent the feeling of being extremely full.

· Incorporate papaya and pineapple: These super foods have digestive enzymes that assist with digestion and help you feel less full after a large meal.

About THE DOCTORS

Featuring real doctors discussing topical health and wellness issues in an entertaining and engaging fashion, season six of THE DOCTORS launched September 9, 2013. The Emmy® Award-winning one-hour, daytime syndicated talk show continues to be hosted by physicians who are among the best in their respective field, including ER physician Dr. Travis Stork, plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgery expert Dr. Andrew Ordon and pediatrician Dr. James Sears; and recurring co-hosts, OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton, urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, family doctor and sexologist Dr. Rachael Ross and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Ian Smith.

THE DOCTORS sets itself apart from the competition through its wealth of experts – each of the co-hosts brings a specialized and unique background to the show including decades of experience, in order to provide viewers with well-rounded and easily understood prescriptions for health and wellness.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Green-NurseryEssential Decor for An Eco-Friendly Children’s Room in Your Home

As a parent, you may be more concerned than ever about the future of our planet. While your time on Earth is finite, and you likely won’t live to see the worst of global warming, deforestation, and holes in the ozone layer, your children, grandchildren, and generations of your family yet to come will have to live with the consequences of your actions where the environment is concerned. For this reason you may have embraced a sense of environmental responsibility and started to make lifestyle choices that are more sustainable and produce far less waste and pollution. And your efforts could range from conserving energy and water at home to driving an electric car to purchasing organic food. Of course, you’ll also want to do your part when it comes to designing bedrooms for your little bundles of joy, so here are just a few essential areas to consider when it comes to decorating your children’s bedrooms in an eco-friendly manner.

Non-VOC paint. In case you didn’t know, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are often found in paint, stain, lacquer, and a number of other products related to home decor. And the reason you should be aware of this is that these harmful toxins can linger long after the odor has dissipated, polluting your interior air for years and causing all kinds of health issues, including respiratory disorders, headache, and nausea. VOCs have even been linked to some cancers and neurological disorders. The point is that nobody in your family should be exposed to them. And you can avoid them by seeking out products that eschew these potentially harmful compounds.

Reclaimed materials. Whether you’re installing wooden flooring, cabinets, shelving, or furniture, you should know that there are reclaimed options out there to meet almost every decorating need. These items are not only recycled, but they have often been refurbished. This means that they appear like new, they’ll cost you a fraction of what retail products might, and they won’t require you to participate in further deforestation in order to have the warm look of wood in your children’s bedrooms.

Organic linens. You might be surprised by the vast number of ways in which organic textiles are utilized. You’re probably aware that you can buy organic clothing for kids in order to avoid the chemicals that penetrate most plant fibers. But you can also find options for carpeting, drapes, bedding, and even mattresses. If you want to protect your sensitive and vulnerable tots from potential skin and respiratory allergies, going all organic with linens is a step in the right direction.

Second-hand furniture. If you’re not keen to pay top dollar for eco-friendly furniture, consider that used pieces can not only save you some money, but they also give you the opportunity to do some good for the environment. You’ll stop the linear production cycle that sends products from manufacturer to consumer to landfill by giving these furnishings a second life. And you won’t support further manufacturing and all the pollution and waste it entails.

Yard sale finds. Once you’ve got the basics of decor down, it’s time to fill your children’s bedrooms with items that will add some personality, and you can really go the extra mile with yard sale finds. A crib or play yard purchased at a yard sale can be updated with new padding and linens and a cool and kitschy lamp can be outfitted with an energy-saving CFL bulb. You can also find neat, old books and toys. Although some pieces may need a little TLC, simply keeping items out of the landfill is a great way to decorate children’s rooms in an eco-friendly fashion.

ID-10066385How To Curb Cravings At Holiday Parties

Don’t Go To a Party Hungry: One of the biggest mistakes I see during the holidays is people arriving to parties starving! It’s easy to think that the less you eat earlier in the day, the more room you’ll have to eat later at the party…and the less damage you’ll do overall. But this mindset has disaster written all over it! Instead, think this way: ruin your appetite. Have a healthy, filling snack before the party so that you won’t be tempted to dive into the spinach and artichoke dip as soon as you arrive. A hardboiled egg, a slice of turkey, or a Greek yogurt are all small but satisfying options that you can have at home prior to making your big entrance.

Bring Your Own Healthy Dish: It’s never polite to go to a party empty-handed, right? So why not bring a healthy dish you know you can rely on? Bring a salad with delicious, colorful toppings like cranberries, roasted carrots and squash. Think of it as your safety net so that you won’t have to worry if there’s nothing but diet-busters being served. We’re sure you’re not the only one who will appreciate a dish that’s (finally!) not candied, casseroled, or drowning in gravy.

Scope Out The Entire Party Spread: Once you get to the party, take your time. This is very important. It’s easy to jump at the first thing and every different thing you see. You know how it goes: there’s the cheese and crackers, then the pigs in a blanket, then the shrimp cocktail, and then all the main course dishes… And studies show people eat more when they’re offered a greater variety of foods. By taking a tour of all the food first, you won’t fall into this trap. Walk around and look at everything, deciding what’s healthiest and what you want the most. And only after you’ve seen it all should you decide what to put on your plate. That way, you can make an informed decision you’ll be proud of at the end of the night. There just may be some healthy options you want to indulge in!

Socialize (And Not Just With The Bartender!): You’re at a party. With PEOPLE. It’s not all about the food. Enjoy talking to and reconnecting with family, friends, and coworkers. If you make an effort to socialize, you’ll not only enjoy the night more, but you’ll be too preoccupied to think about that pecan pie every 2.2 seconds. A word of caution: be wary of “food pushers”, those who refuse to take “no” for an answer when offering unhealthy treats. My advice? Keep saying no, as many times as you have to. And don’t feel bad! It’s a GOOD thing that you put your health first. Just decline politely and hopefully Great-Aunt Sarah will stop trying to hand you sugar cookies.

About the Author

Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert and co-founder of MommyCoach, has put together a couple of tips for how to stay healthy, and how to help curb your appetite. If you’re unfamiliar, MommyCoach is a new online community for moms around the country to connect with leading experts and coaches for advice, encouragement, and answers to those hard-to-crack questions.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

ID-100101872Tips for Staying Healthy Through The Holiday Season

Plan Non-Food-Centered Activities: Take the focus off food. There are so many ways to spend time together besides cooking, baking, and eating. Instead of decorating cookies and gingerbread houses, make non-edible crafts like wreaths, paper snowflakes, or holiday cards.  Bundle up to take a walk around the neighborhood and rank the best decorated houses. And light a fire to gather around while you play charades or watch holiday movies.

Bring Snacks To The Mall: Welcome to the real jungle. There’s no denying how tempting it is  seeing peppermint mochas or smelling cinnamon rolls (from a mile away, no less). And with the  stress of the crowds and finding the right gifts for everyone, you can be in over your head fast.  You have to be smart enough to sidestep these hazards. The easiest way to make it out alive?  Pack filling healthy snacks like nuts, a piece of fruit, or a bag of air popped popcorn, and you  won’t need a search and rescue team to pull you out of the food court.

Make Your Own Hot Chocolate: Ditch the packaged powders and go for the real thing. Many  hot chocolate powders are convenient and boast very few calories, but they are chock full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals! Our recipe uses maca, a powder grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru and packed with nutrients, and cacao powder, a less-processed version of  cocoa powder that’s a great source of antioxidants. Spend a cozy afternoon in the kitchen with  your kids and cuddle up in with this super food hot chocolate recipe.

Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly, then mix in the following ingredients:

● 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
● 2 teaspoons maca powder
● 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
● 1 teaspoon honey
● Pinch sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pure vanilla
● 1 ½ cups milk of your choice or water

Be Mindful of Your Hunger Quotient: Your HQ is a measure of how hungry you are at a  given time – famished, satisfied, stuffed. Try to be in tune with your HQ and let hunger dictate  when you eat (versus having a serving of stuffing just because your sister brought it over). On a  scale of 1-10 (1 being stuffed, 10 being famished), you want to be between a 4 (slightly hungry)  and a 6 (slightly satisfied) all the time.

About the Author

Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert and co-founder of MommyCoach, has put together a couple of tips for how to stay healthy, and how to help curb your appetite. If you’re unfamiliar, MommyCoach is a new online community for moms around the country to connect with leading experts and coaches for advice, encouragement, and answers to those hard-to-crack questions.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Find The Fun In Healthy Eating

Keeping kids healthy can be a tough job. Sometimes, the things that are good for kids aren’t always what they want.

But moms know that eating healthy and being active can help kids grow strong bodies and lower their future risk of obesity and health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. It can also help them do better in school.

Start by being a good role model. Kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they see you eating them, too. Be a good role model by staying active and doing activities the whole family can enjoy.

There are also many ways to make healthy eating fun. One way is by encouraging kids to help in the kitchen. When kids help pick and cook food, they are more likely to eat it. Younger kids can tear lettuce for salads or rinse fruits and vegetables while older kids can chop and slice.

The Network for a Healthy California provides these and other mom-tested tips to empower families to live better by eating more fruits and vegetables and being active every day. The tips come from Champions for Change, real moms who are role models for healthy change.

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to make healthy changes. Even small changes add up quickly to make a big difference, like adding fruit to cereal or offering crunchy carrots instead of chips as a snack.

Fresh-Fruit-Bonanza

Here are more mom-tested tips on how to make healthy change fun:

• Kids get excited when they can pick what they are going to eat. Have them pick the fruits and vegetables they want to pack in their lunch each day.

• Keep fruits and vegetables in easy-to-reach places at home to encourage healthy snacking. Leave a bowl of fresh fruit on the table and cut vegetables in the fridge. Get a mix of dried fruits and let kids make their own trail mix.

• Make shopping fun. Let kids pick three colors of fruits and vegetables to try, or choose three fruits to snack on during the week.

• Be creative when cooking. Try fun ideas like arranging different vegetables on pizza to make a face. Use slices of bell pepper for the mouth and eyebrows, olives for the eyes, and a cherry tomato or carrot for the nose.

• Play together. Turn off the TV and turn up the music. Have a dance contest to everyone’s favorite songs. Enjoy the outdoors and go for family walks, ride bikes together or play at a local park.

You can find more great tips, resources and healthy recipes that kids will love at www.CaChampionsForChange.net and www.Facebook.com/NetworkForAHealthyCalifornia.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.*

Mommy-Stroller5 Great Baby Registry Items for Eco-Conscious Parents-to-Be

Compiling a baby registry can be a difficult undertaking. There are so many things you’ll need to provide a comfortable and supportive environment for your newborn that it can get a little overwhelming trying to figure out how many onesies, bottles, blankets, and other items to add to your registry. And you don’t want to be greedy, but there’s so much stuff to buy that it could stretch your budget pretty thin. Plus, you need to consider that you’re probably not going to get everything on your wish list. So should you only put the items you really need help with? It can be a major conundrum for expectant parents that are already overwhelmed. And when you add eco-sensibilities to the mix it can get even more difficult. But here are just a few ideas of items you might want to include when you put together a baby registry of items that have less impact on the environment.

Organic clothing. Your baby will go through clothing fast, so you’ll want to put sizes on your registry that will cover him for the first year. This could include four different sizes, in case you didn’t know. But if you also want to cut your carbon footprint and protect your baby’s sensitive skin from possible allergies, rashes, and so on that could be caused by all of the chemical processing most garments undergo, then opt for organic outfits. As a bonus, they’ll survive a lot more washing than standard garments – considering how quickly they get messy, this is great news for new parents.

Organic linens. If you’re not going to clothe your newborn in chemically processed textiles, why would you make him sleep on them? Instead, cover baby’s bed with linen sheets and blankets that are sure to cause less harm.

Cloth diapers (and cleaning service). Disposable diapers, while convenient, are terrible for the environment, cluttering up landfills to the tune of about 18 billion diapers per year, including 82,000 tons of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp. As a concerned parent, you may be keen to cut back on this, uh, dumping. Cloth diapers are a viable solution that you’ll only have to buy once. Although a cleaning service will cost you, perhaps you can add a month or a year of service as an option on your registry. Another good solution is biodegradable diapers.

3-in-1 stroller. Although you might not find a lot of environmentally-conscious, 3-in-1 stroller options on the market, the product, in and of itself, requires less manufacturing than purchasing a separate stroller, carrier, and car seat, making it a little greener (and more convenient) from the get-go.

Minimal-impact furniture. Although furniture for your baby’s nursery can certainly be expensive, you should put a variety of items at a wide range of price-points on your registry for a couple of reasons. For one thing, someone might actually splurge on one of your big-ticket items, saving you some serious money. Or they may see that lower-priced items have already been purchased and give you a gift card towards whatever you didn’t get on your wish list. Enough gift cards could add up to furniture. And when it comes to your crib, changing table, and baby play yard, you might need a little help covering cost, especially if you plan to buy pieces that are practical, safe, and come with a guarantee of minimal impact to the environment through manufacturing and materials.

ID-10010604310 Tricky Tips for a Healthy Halloween from the Pritikin Longevity Center

1. Buy candy you don’t like.

Love Snickers bars? Leave them on the store shelf. Otherwise, you can bet you’ll be breaking into that bag days before the costumed kiddies arrive at your doorstep. (And let’s not even talk about what happens if there are Snickers left over at the end of the evening.) Buy candy that does not call out to you, and on November 1, throw any leftovers out or take them to a homeless shelter.

2. Think outside the candy box.

“On Halloween night, trick or treaters love non-food goodies, too,” recommends Pritikin dietitian and educator Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD. Look in the party aisle of your favorite discount or dollar store for treats like glow stick necklaces (your little neighborhood princesses will love you!), spider rings, stickers, decorative pencils, stamps, notepads, erasers, balloons, play tattoos, game cards, and more. Better yet, buy treats that encourage kids to be physically active, like little bouncy balls, Frisbees, jump ropes, hacky sacks, and sidewalk chalk for drawing hopscotch or foursquare games.

3. Fuel up your little ones before they go trick-or-treating.

Before they head out the door, try to get them to relax (we know this isn’t easy!) and sit down to dinner, or, at least, a fruit plate and a cup of yogurt. That way, their appetites for the rest of the evening will be curbed, somewhat. (Maybe they’ll be happy with 6 little chocolates, not 16.)

4. Be firm but loving.

Keeping junk out of the house most of the year is important. “But realize that some junk on Halloween and other rare events is inevitable, and that’s okay. Embrace those moments, and at the same time make sure your kids understand how important it is to keep these indulgences occasional,” counsels Tom Rifai, MD, Medical Director of the Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management program at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Oakland, Michigan, and member of the Pritikin Scientific Advisory Board. Always emphasize the many positive outcomes of eating fresh whole foods like fruits and vegetables, like a leaner body, clearer skin and excellent energy for all their activities and sports.

5. Perform trick-or-treat triage.

Once the kids bring in the candy, “get rid of the excess,” suggests Pritikin nutritionist Kimberly Gomer. “The children don’t need a ton around, and neither do you. Also, if there are certain treats that ‘glow and glitter’ for you, triggering temptation, put them out of sight, perhaps in an out-of-the-way kitchen cabinet or freezer in the garage. The kids often forget about the candy faster than mom and dad!”

6. Meter it out.

On Halloween night, allow your children to enjoy a few bites, not a binge. Then, stash the goodies they’ve selected as “keepers” in the pantry. Get rid of the rest. In the days that follow, dole out one or two treats at a time (but only if your children ask for them), and always in combination with a healthy snack or meal. When the excitement over the candy has waned (and before you start digging into them), toss them out or take them to a shelter.

7. Focus on fun, not food.

“Make dressing up in costumes a big deal,” suggests Kimberly, “and get in on the action, too. Dress up with your kids.” Carve pumpkins, and enjoy the exercise of trick or treating around the neighborhood. (Do make sure you’ve also eaten a healthy snack or dinner before walking out the front door.) And sure, nibble on a treat or two while out enjoying the evening, as long as you know you can stop after one or two. “And always remember that it’s one night a year,” says Kimberly. “Enjoy the evening, but don’t drag out the candy eating till Thanksgiving. Tell yourself, ‘I’ve splurged a little tonight. I’m back to healthy eating tomorrow.’” What a gift for your waistline and overall health!

8. Plan party fun on the front lawn.

“Get the kids (and grownups) up and moving with party activities,” advises Pritikin Fitness Director Scott Danberg, MS. Set up a costume/dance contest. Before the sun sets, enjoy a pumpkin hunt (hide miniature pumpkins throughout the yard), pinning a heart on a scarecrow, or musical chairs (instead of chairs, use big pumpkins). And, of course, kids never tire of running from the big bad bogeyman (you dressed up in a creepy costume) in a game of Halloween hide and seek. Lots of calories burned. Lots of fun!

9. Stock up on sweet and nutritious.

The rest of the year, continue to think outside the candy aisle for treats that are sweet and nutritious. Make fruit fun. How about a Fruit Parfait? In a pretty parfait glass, simply layer your child’s favorite fruit with fat-free or low-fat vanilla yogurt. Then top with a strawberry.

10. Make healthy treats together.

Every summer in the Pritikin Family Program, kids love the hands-on cooking classes and, afterwards, eating their own creations. Set up shop in your own kitchen, and with the kids as sous chefs, create tasty desserts, such as our chefs’ Very Berry Ice Cream, for a healthy Halloween and good health year-round.

About the Author

Kimberly Gomer MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and Educator: In addition to her undergraduate degree in Dietetics/Nutrition and Masters in Public Health Nutrition, Kimberly brings to the Pritikin Longevity Center more than a decade of experience teaching and inspiring thousands nationwide to eat and live well. At LIFE Saint Francis PACE Program in New Jersey, she provided medical nutrition therapy for individuals with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity. At community health centers throughout New Jersey, she developed and delivered several wellness programs, including individual and group weight-loss programs for a variety of ages, from students to seniors.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*