October 20th, 2010 . by Catherine Frederico, MS RD LDN
Traditionally my family was never into the ghosts and goblins stuff, but I have to say I love Halloween. Why? Because of all the candy!! Candy candy candy! I just love a good piece of candy, and what better way to celebrate the start of fall than with costumes and candy?
I firmly believe that treating yourself every now and then to a delectable treat is necessary for a balanced self, but at Halloween we often go a bit beyond just treating ourselves. In the spirit of keeping Halloween candy consumption in control, here are some healthy Halloween hints for you and your family to try out this year.
Evaluate your child.
Dr. Mary L. Gavin, MD recommends you evaluate your child’s eating habits before letter him or her go trick-or-treating. If your child is not a candy lover, odds are setting strict limits on your child isn’t necessary. However if your child struggles with sugar or is already overweight, it’s best to set some limits up front.
Keep the collected candy in the family pantry not the child’s room so he or she isn’t tempted to munch between meals.
Be fair to your child by not handing out candy to neighborhood kids. Consider giving trick-or-treaters non-food items like cool stickers, bright pencils, and small toys.
Sort through the candy with your child to pick out favorites. Those that aren’t picked can be thrown away or used to make a fun Halloween craft like a spooky Halloween candy house.
Other nutrition experts suggest giving your child free range to eat any candy they wish for about two days and then disposing of the rest.
Avoid traditional candy craziness.
Before venturing out into candy land, discuss with your child about dietary balance, portion size, and calories. A good way to introduce calories to your child is through playing the Halloween Candy Game together.
Just like adults, even non-candy loving kids will eat what’s available when they are hungry. Be sure to feed your child a good, healthy meal before going out. This keeps the desire to overeat candy to a minimum.
Plan a walking route for your trick-or-treat adventure. Remember health is about balance, and being physically active on Halloween is a great way to balance out those extra calories.
Bring healthy snacks and water with you in case your family gets the munchies while collecting all that candy.
Once all the candy is collected, have your child select several pieces for eating that night. Remember it’s important to allow treats within reason.
If there is a stockpile of candy left over after Halloween, discuss with your child when the rest can be eaten and how much at one time. For example, two pieces could be selected after dinner each evening or as a snack after doing something physical.
Be a good role model.
Don’t fall into the trap of eating too much candy yourself. If you choose to hand out candy make sure to avoid overindulging.
Consider serving healthier treats at Halloween this year. Remember things must be prepackaged for safety. Clemson University nutritionists have created an entire list of healthy Halloween treats. Some of my favorites are:
100 Calorie Packs
100% juice boxes
Gummies made with real fruit
Chocolate covered raisins
Low-fat popcorn packs
Not brave enough to hand out healthy treats to trick-or-treaters? Consider setting a healthy tone at Halloween parties. You can find some really creative ideas online like this super cute haunted forest platter made with veggies.
October 12th, 2010 . by Catherine Frederico, MS RD LDN
A couple weeks ago we told you about one of our new Playnormous 2.0 features called the Monster Gallery. This is the place were you can submit your monster to win the super special Beast in Show prize!
Because we’ve had such an amazing response and amazingly large number of monsters entered into the gallery, we’ve done a complete overhaul to accommodate all of your new monster creations.
What’s so new about it?
The new gallery works differently than the one we first launched. What’s so different about it?
When you register with Playnormous you get to make your very own monster. Once you save your monster it will AUTOMATICALLY be entered into the Monster Gallery. This makes your monster easier to share with everyone!
Everyone who creates and saves a monster AUTOMATICALLY has a shot at winning the weekly Beast in Show trophy!
Just like before, if you are a member of Playnormous you can rate monsters in the gallery. Give out 5 stars for amazing or 1 star for not so good.
Every month we will have new trophies that you can win. You can enter your monster into these contests through your Monster Profile.
The gallery has been completely reorganized with tabs so you can easily find the newest monsters created and the highest ranked monsters. When you’re logged in you can also sort by your top picks.
If you click on a monster image thumbnail in the right column, the image will expand to show stats about that monster. You can now see a full body shot of every monster too!
Visit the updated Monster Gallery now to see all these cool new features. Don’t have a monster yet? Become a member to start building one today. It’s FREE!
October 6th, 2010 . by Catherine Frederico, MS RD LDN
We just got word that the PowerScience Lab at the Children’s Museum of Houston is getting a major makeover, and much of that will include some additional healthy fun!
Starting December 31st, be on the lookout for healthy Playnormous recipes like Tiki’s Frozen Fruit Slushies and Fiery Dragon Black Bean Burrito. Until then you can pick up cool Halloween recipes followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas ones. New recipes will be available in the PowerScience Lab each month so make sure to visit often to collect them all!
To learn more about the PoweScience Lab at CMH, check out their cool video. We can’t wait to see what the revamped lab will look like!
October 3rd, 2010 . by Catherine Frederico, MS RD LDN
Disney + White House = healthy living.
Our friend Day Barlow at Radio Disney Houston notified us that Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign has teamed up with Disney to get kids movin’ and groovin’ to healthy living. What an amazing job they’ve done! They were really able to round up all the kid celebs and make some great videos for Disney Magic of Healthy Living.
One thing in particular that they seem to be focusing on is where fruits and vegetables come from and the idea that gardening can be a great physical activity. That’s when our office manager, Renate, and I came up with a great idea: let’s build a Monster Garden right here at the office!
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
The weather is finally beautiful here in Houston so Renate and I could not have picked a better time to come up with a brilliant outdoor idea. We’ve already picked our spot and have decided on some things we want to plant. Oh it’s going to be so amazing I can hardly wait!
Now just to let you know, I have a black thumb. Not a brown one, not a yellow one, a black one. Melanie + plants = death. In short, I really can’t grow much (do you think I should warn Renate?). Either way, this is going to be a major learning experience for me. So don’t worry if you’ve never gardened before. Neither have I!! We are going to learn together.
Step 1: finding your planting spot.
The first thing you need to do when planting a garden is to pick a great spot to start. What do you want to grow and where do you want to grow it? We have a lovely fenced-in courtyard at our office which is going to be just perfect. Depending on what you decide to plant, make sure the area you pick has:
enough protection from animals and stomping people
We’re going to try to plant a variety of fruits and vegetables so for our garden we’re thinking:
heavy fruits and vegetables along the well-drained fence like watermelons and pumpkins
sun-loving vegetables along the back wall like carrots, tomatoes, onions, and peppers
shade-loving herbs in the shady corner
Start out small.
Now these are just pie in the sky ideas. We’re probably biting off more than we can chew here. Always start out small folks, otherwise you’ll get discouraged and give up! Next time we’ll let you know what we really decide to plant. You can get some great ideas by playing our fruit and veggie game Lunch Crunch. Until then, keep enjoying that sunshine and happy monster gardening!
October 1st, 2010 . by Catherine Frederico, MS RD LDN
We’ve finally updated our friends list so you can see what companies and organizations use Playnormous or promote us out of the goodness of their own heart. We are so grateful to all of these groups for their tireless efforts to support Playnormous as we continue to grow!
Here’s to many more years of amazing friendship and continual growth for everyone!!
Want to see your logo amongst our friends? Contact us about how you are using Playnormous or how you’re helping spread the word about our health games. We’d be delighted to include you with the rest of our super star friends!