7 Tips for a Healthy Halloween Night!

1.     Start with a balanced dinner prior to trick-or-treating to help curve cravings but allow for some expected added calories.
2.     Make a plan.  Decide your family’s candy allowance ahead of time.  No matter your limitations on Halloween candy, the holiday is bound to go more smoothly when everyone knows what is allowed before going out. 
3.     Donate extra candy to soldiers abroad or bring to school or work to share.
4.     Develop a toy exchange system where your kids can trade in pieces of candy for a non-food reward or a reward system with left-over candy.
5.     Pass out non-food items (such as crayons, yo-yo’s, fake tattoos, spider rings or bouncy balls.)
6.     Pass out healthier food options (such as pretzels, popcorn, cereal, dried fruit or sunflower/pumpkin seeds).
7.     Discuss with your children that candy is a treat to be enjoyed on occasion but avoid labeling sweets as “bad” foods.  

Have a spooky and safe Halloween everyone! 


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

We are into October, the leaves are changing and the crisp weather is here!  This weather means weekends are all about football, lit candles and something in the crockpot or on the stove.  One of my favorite, easy soups to make this time of year is butternut squash soup.  I find instead of going through all the work of chopping a tough little squash into cubes, I prefer to halve it and pop it in the oven.  This way, you can get busy prepping the soup and just scoop out the edible portion when you're ready.  I also think it adds more depth to the flavors of the soup along with the balsamic vinegar and cinnamon.  Dish out a bowl and plant yourself on the couch with a blanket while the game's on, you won't regret it!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 4-6

1 medium butternut squash, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I used Better Than Bouillon)
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut squash in half (the long way), scoop out seeds with a spoon and place in an oven safe dish, cut side down.  Add about 1 inch of water to dish.  Bake squash for 40-50 minutes. 
Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic.  When squash is almost done baking, sauté olive oil and onion for 10 minutes in a large soup pot on medium-low heat.  Add garlic to pot.  Scoop out butternut squash with a large spoon and add to soup pot, avoiding the outer skin.  Add seasonings, balsamic vinegar and about 2 cups of broth and bring to a simmer for 10-20 minutes or until squash is very tender. 
Remove pot from heat and using an emersion blender (or regular blender) puree soup.  Place back on low heat and add remaining 1-2 cups of broth until desired consistency is reached.  Bring back to a simmer and serve!

Nutrition Facts: 111 Calories, 6.5g Fat, 10g Carbohydrate, 4g Protein, 1.7g Fiber, 538mg Sodium, 380mg Potassium
*This recipe is vegan (if using vegetable broth), gluten- and dairy-free.