Healthy Halloween! From snacking to boozing to the hazards of costumes: How to look after yourself this weekend
- Costumes and Halloween parties can induce a number of injuries and ailments
- It can also be hard to limit the amount of junk food you and your children eat
- Here, we’ve gathered tips from health experts on how to take care of yourself and your family on Halloween weekend
Halloween can wreak havoc on your body between eating too much candy and staying out all night partying.
And costumes can be dangerous too – fake eyelashes, wigs and other accessories can cause break outs and skin infections.
But whether you go trick or treating, stay in and eat sweets or go out to a costume party, most of the potential damage done is preventable if you follow some simple tips, experts warn.
Here, we’ve provided solutions to problems that come up while you celebrate so that you can quickly recover from Halloweekend festivities.
1. WHY YOU – AND YOUR KIDS – SHOULD BE FULL BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT TO HALLOWEEN PARTIES
You should eat a balanced, nutritious meal before going trick or treating with your children or out to celebrations, nutritionist Nikki Ostrower warned.
‘Make sure they have a nice, healthy meal,’ Ostrower said. She added that you also need to be hydrated before the big event.
The meal you eat in preparation should include a protein, a vegetable and a starch. She gave an example dinner that included spaghetti squash, meatballs and vegetables.
But even if your children are full, they will still want to overeat when they start raking in candy, she said.
‘They’re going to want to indulge,’ she explained. Because of this you should talk with them in advance to set boundaries.
‘You have to have a conversation with your kids, [but] it’s not that you’re not allowing them to have it,’ Ostrower said.
You should tell them what they are and are not allowed to eat, but it is important to do so in a loving manner.
Ostrower said: ‘We don’t want to rain on their parade – their self esteem.’
Discussing the candies they are not allowed to eat is important, but so is limiting how much of it they can have.
‘Say, “We’re going to enjoy this Halloween candy for three days”,’ Ostrower suggested.
You should be clear that after a certain point your children will no longer be able to eat the leftover Halloween candy. ‘Don’t keep it around the house,’ Ostrower said.
Ostrower recommends drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water before a night out drinking (file photo)
2. WHY YOU SHOULD DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR BEFORE A NIGHT OF DRINKING
Preparing for a night out beforehand is important in making sure you do not overdo it, and Ostrower gave some unlikely tips to help you do this.
‘We want to make sure we have a plan in advance,’ she explained.
If you know you will be drinking heavily, she suggests drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water before doing so.
One brand of apple cider vinegar she suggests is Bragg. She explained why she likes it, saying: ‘Bragg will give you a big jolt of vitamins.’
You should repeat this step when you return from a night out partying. Ostrower said: ‘When you go home, do the same thing.’
On top of this you should eat clean and workout the day you plan to party. ‘Go for a run; do some fitness,’ Ostrower suggested.
She added that eating a balanced breakfast the morning you plan on going out is key, and she suggested eating nutritious foods such as eggs or a yogurt parfait.
3. HOW TO TREAT YOUR FACE PAINT-WRECKED SKIN AFTER HALLOWEEN
Wigs, face paint, fake eyelashes and other costume accessories can do a number on your skin.
They can lead to skin infections, acne and clogged pores, whether or not you have your makeup done by a professional.
Cristina Monaco, a Physician Assistant at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, said one of the most important things to do to protect your skin on Halloween is to make sure all makeup and face paint applicators are clean.
She said if you are having your costume makeup applied professionally you should make certain the brushes used on your body have been cleaned since they were last used.
‘A lot of people for Halloween are going to wear face paints,’ she said. But she warned that if the paintbrushes they use are not clean this can easily result in a breakout. Additionally, she suggested using oil-free paints on your face.
It is also important to make sure any tools you use to apply fake eyelashes are clean, Monaco said. And you should always take the eyelashes off the right way and avoid sleeping in them.
If you rip them off, you risk hurting your eyes. And sleeping in them could result in a stye, which is a swollen, tender bump along the rim of your eye.
You should use make up remover to gently soak off the eyelashes.
Lastly, Monaco said it is important to shower immediately after a night out wearing a wig. ‘You start to develop acne pimples around the hairline,’ she explained.
Monaco said that the sweat accumulation on your head can lead to a breakout and that is why you must clean your scalp immediately after a night out wearing a wig.
‘GO FOR THE HOMEMADE’: HOW TO HOST A HEALTHY HALLOWEEN PARTY – WITH 2 SPECIAL RECIPES
Halloween parties will inevitably feature candy corn, trail mix with unhealthy ingredients and other snacks that will make you feel sluggish.
You might not be able to totally avoid these foods, but Ostrower suggested trying to eat only foods that others have prepared. ‘Go for the homemade,’ she explained.
She said candy corn and chocolate candies are the worst foods to eat at parties. ‘Candy corns are corn syrup,’ she said.
But if you are the host, or if you are bringing something to a Halloween party, we have provided some healthy but sweet recipe ideas that are sure to be a hit.
Ostrower said her brownie bites (listed below) are so good that they have been ‘kid-approved’.
And nutrition expert and former Miss Universe Rozanna Purcell suggests a fall-themed recipe for pumpkin protein balls that are also easy to make.
Pumpkin Protein Balls or Cookies (from nutrition expert Rozanna Purcell)
- five tablespoons pumpkin puree
- three scoops vanilla vegan protein powder
- three tablespoons maple syrup
- four tablepoons crunchy cashew butter
- one teaspoon ground cinnamon
- one teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- one Mindful Bites Brazil Nut & Cacao Nibs sachet
Pictured is Rozanna Purcell who is a nutrition expert and former Miss Universe
Preheat oven to 180°C (for cookies).
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all the protein ball ingredients, and using a spoon or your hands mix them together until you have a smooth dough that is not too wet or too dry.
Taking sections, roughly measure out tablespoons and roll into balls using your hands.
Store the balls in the fridge for up to five days. If you want a warm cookie, take a ball and press it down using your fingers onto a lined oven-proof tray. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and let cool fully for five minutes.
If you are keeping them as balls, drizzle with the Mindful Bites nut butter. However, if you are planning to bake as cookies hold off on the drizzle until yours cookie are baked.
Raw Brownie Bites (from nutritionist Nikki Ostrower)
- two cups Almond Meal
- one cup soaked pitted dates
- one-fourth cup raw cacao powder
- one teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
Place almond meal and dates in a food processor or blender until combined.
Add remaining ingredients until a paste is formed.
Roll into balls.