Published in: Boston Women's Journal
By: Camille Hendsbee, RD, LDN
Date: October/November 2006
A Fall Nutrition Survival Guide
Think for a moment about this: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hunger Awareness Month, and
Vegetarian Awareness Month. November is National Diabetes Month, and also the month of the
"Great American Smoke Out". Then there is Hallowe'en tucked somewhere in between. Hallowe'en aside,
if you stop to really think about this, all of the "Awareness's" have a similar theme.
Regarding breast cancer - recent study findings show a positive correlation between increased breast
cancer and increased body weight. With hunger awareness, perhaps if more of the world ate
a plant-based diet there just might be enough food to go around (it takes a great deal of
grain and water to feed those cows - not to mention the methane waste polluting out planet!).
Vegetarian awareness speaks loud and clear touting the fact that when following a plant based
diet certain disease states that seem to plague the carnivorous population (diabetes
being one of them) are lessened greatly. The "Great American Smoke Out " rounds out the
picture to guide us towards a cleaner and healthier environment for us all resulting in decreased
lung cancer cases.
The Message is Clear!
So within all these events there seems to be one great message - one common thread - that has
been trying to get through to us to shake us awake. The message is simply that eating
healthier and living cleaner gives us a greater chance at a long and better quality life.
Then Comes that High Glycemic Holiday!
So where does Hallowe'en come in? It happens to be a perfect opportunity to practice out
healthy skills while passing these ideas and rituals to our children. Just how can we combine
all this knowledge available to us, apply it, and still have a great time?
Let us count the ways! Here are a few tips to guide you through:
- For those trick-or-treaters try passing out color pages wrapped around small boxes of
crayons as a treat.
- Think about giving "one slice" pizza coupons.
- Small trail mix packages or bars make a great treat.
- If you find yourself buying candy – buy candy that you and your family don’t like! Send
the remainder to a local food pantry.
- Have a Hollowe’en party at home for your children instead of roaming the neighborhood. This
gives you a great handle on the food/candy situation and the chance to make good choices.
- Make up small treat bags in advance to hand out to each treater thus preventing
the "grab as much as you can then go" plight.
- Sealed individual packages of popcorn, cheddar cheese crackers, or pretzels and a great
break from the candy theme.
- If your child does go door to door, when he returns go through the loot together – have
him choose his favorites in limited number and make a special event out of donating the rest
to other children through a food pantry.
- Make sure that before your child goes out that he has eaten a good supper first
- this will lead to less over indulging later.
- Last but in no way least – be a great role model for your child! Sit down – have suppers
together and if your child is not overdoing it with candy make sure you aren't either!
When there is moderation along with a little flexibility your family can
have a "BOO"-tiful holiday season!
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