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Clinic offers healthy alternatives to Halloween sugar rush | Community Spirit

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Clinic offers healthy alternatives to Halloween sugar rush
Clinic offers healthy alternatives to Halloween sugar rush

A health care facility is offering tips to reduce the sugar intake that accompanies the Halloween festivities.

Krista Kohls, a dietitian at the Meriter Clinic downtown on West Washington Avenue, said there are multiple ways parents can make Halloween healthy.

“I’m always a proponent of fruits and vegetables,” Kohls said. “Anytime you can include fruits or vegetables into the snacks or party favors, it’s going to be a good thing to add fiber and vitamins and minerals.”

Kohls said one way to make Halloween partiers  young or old more healthy is a new twist on a veggie tray. She suggested arranging veggies to resemble a Jack-o’-Lantern using baby carrots, cucumber and broccoli on a circular tray with three dipping cups of hummus.

Another party treat is banana pop ghosts: bananas are sliced into quarters, stuck with skewers, dipped in Greek yogurt and frozen. Add two mini chocolate chips to resemble eyes and you have healthy festive white ghosts, Kohls said.

The clinic is hosting an event after Halloween to offer kids an alternative to eating all the candy they collect going door-to-door. On Nov. 2 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., area children can bring their Halloween treats to the clinic at 345 W. Washington Ave., Suite 100, and trade it in for tickets to be used in raffles at the party. Raffle prizes include bikes, sports tickets, science project kits and more. Fresh fruit snacks are also provided to party-goers.

Meriter pediatrician Dr. Kathryn Cahill said in 2012,  about 500 families attended the trade-in event and the clinic collected nearly 700 pounds of candy.

Cahill and Kohls added that the candy the clinic collects is does not go to waste.

“The candy actually goes to U.S. troops overseas, so it is for a good cause, too,” Kohls said.

Watch Kohls make healthy Halloween treats:



  • WHAT: 2013 Halloween Candy Trade-In Party
  • WHERE: Meriter Clinic, 345 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 100
  • WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 2 from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
  • COST: Free, but leftover Halloween candy is the currency to earn raffle tickets
  • INFO: www.meriter.com/clinics/west-washington-clinic

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