Fall is a beautiful time of year. The colors of the trees and decorations bring smiles to just about all ages. The early morning crisp air gives a quick wake up call to any walker or runner. Keep your fall healthy and resist overeating the Halloween sugared treats.
Reducing sugar in anyone’s diet can be tough. Soon, new food labels will hit the shelves. Consumers will have an easy way to determine the amount of added sugar in foods. Examples of foods with added sugar are candy and soda, because sugar is added when they are manufactured.
Some of us have a sweet tooth and enjoy a piece of candy now and then. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommends to keep our consumption of added to sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories. Why should we keep our added sugars to 10 percent of total calories? Added sugar gives us calories, with no added nutrients. What quantity of candy or soda is 10 percent of our total calories?
Many of us are not math majors, and this can be a difficult number to compute. An easy way is to estimate the number of calories recommended for you to eat in one day. For an older adult it might be less than 2,000. For a child 4-8 years of age it is 1,200. For girls ages 9-13, it is 1,400 calories, and for boys, 1,600 calories. Ten percent of 2,000 calories is 200 calories, 10 percent of 1,200 is 120 calories and 10 percent of 1,400 is 140 calories.
Look at the food label and the serving size of the candy or soda. Check out the calories per serving size. Does it fit within the dietary guideline’s recommendations?
Many people have Halloween parties for children. Try serving foods without a lot of added sugars. Here are ideas for healthy Halloween snacks to either serve or bring to the parties. They do contain ingredients with added sugar, however they contain other nutrient-based ingredients as well.
Whole Grain Snack Mix
4 cups plain popped popcorn
2 cups whole grain circle oats cereal
2 cups raisins, dried cherries, or banana chips
2 cups of candy corn
Mix together. Place in treat bags and add a bow. Note: If you add nuts, it is best to note on the bag, “Contains nuts.”
1 cup yogurt, low-fat vanilla (8 oz.)
1 fl. oz. orange juice, 100 percent juice, frozen concentrate (thawed)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 apples (red, cored and sliced)
1 pear (cored and sliced)
Combine yogurt, orange juice concentrate, lime juice and brown sugar. Mix well. Serve with apple and pear wedges. Note: To prevent the apples from turning brown, dip slices in orange juice.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.