The fall season is upon us; the time where the leaves on the trees start changing, the air begins growing cooler and pumpkins are magically appearing on our neighbors’ front porches. Children are planning what they are going to dress up as for Halloween and adults all over the US are cooking “crock-pot meals” and preparing their menu for Thanksgiving. People everywhere are slowly fading into the pumpkin spice state of mind.
In fact, Forbes estimated the pumpkin spice industry to be worth over $500 million – that’s a lot of lattes. According to The Chicago Tribune, it’s not just lattes. Pumpkin spice has started it’s slow-takeover of the world that we presently know. Don’t be surprised if you see the following products at your local grocery store: pumpkin spice hummus, pumpkin spice tortilla chips, pumpkin spice almond milk and basically anything else that so many of us would willingly buy.
While we may get sucked into the fall routine of costumes, sweet treats and all things revolving around everyone's favorite orange gourd, it’s important to always keep you and your family’s health in mind. Just one pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks would take about 134 minutes of walking (or trick-or-treating) to burn off. Speaking of trick-or-treating, you can bet that on average, each child can expect to come home with 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of candy after a night of fun and showing off their costume.
Don’t get spooked by these facts, however. Below are some easy and fun tips to keep you and your family healthy during, arguably the most delicious season:
- Instead of driving to each candy-giving location, take the opportunity to walk from house to house.
- Before heading out, eat a healthy meal. This will help you and your children avoid the constant urge to eat the candy and treats you collect.
- Allow yourself, and each family member, to keep enough candy so that you can each have one or two pieces a day for a few weeks… and then throw away or donate the leftovers.
- Every time a piece of candy is consumed, pair it with a healthy snack: fruit, some nuts, or celery with peanut butter.
- Want to let everyone know you are trying to be your healthiest self? (Let’s face it, we could all use some encouragement time and again) Browse these Healthy Halloween costume ideas.
When Attending or Hosting Fall Get-Togethers
- Instead of sugary drinks like soda, offer water, low-sugar juice or unsweetened tea. You can embrace the season and make a spooky-themed punch from low-sugar juice, sparkling water and frozen blueberries. Staying hydrated is something we all struggle with in the fall and winter, but it is key in making sure our body is the best that it can be.
- Instead of bringing the cheesy dip of goodness, plan to bring something healthy, like an assorted vegetable tray, that everyone can enjoy.
- When thinking of activities to participate in during fall events, get creative on how you can incorporate healthy snacks (making edible spiders from apples, peanut butter, pretzels and raisins or anything else that you can find from searching on Pinterest).
- Before the food coma sets in, suggest that the guests play a game requiring physical activity, like a pumpkin toss or a zombie dance party.
- Plan your menu items in advance and do research on healthy, yet delicious recipes. Or, if you are currently in a pumpkin spice state of mind and that task is too great, we have kindly provided you with a link to Cooking Light’s 2018 Healthy Fall Recipes – and yes, for some recipes you can use your crockpot.
Whatever fun activities this fall brings, remember to make you and your family’s health your number one priority. Yes, making a step toward a healthier life can start with the simple decision to decrease your pumpkin spice latte intake. And remember that Concordance Healthcare Solutions supports you on this extremely tough, but worthwhile journey to your healthiest self! Wishing you a Spooktacular Halloween from all of us at Concordance.