Friday Food News: Halloween and National Oatmeal Day

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With Halloween only a few days away, all the little goblins and ghosts are getting excited about trick or treating and what candies they might get!

With some great advice from Adam Bornstein, fitness/nutrition expert and editorial director of Livestrong.com, parents can help their kids make healthier choices while still enjoying their treats.

For example:
Hershey'??s bars have 210 cals, 13 g fat and 24 g sugar, while Skinny Cow Fudge bars have 100 cals, 2 g fat, 13 g sugar. That'??s 1/2 the calories, 1/6 the fat and almost 1/2 the sugar!

Skittles have 250 cals, 2.5 g fat and 47 g of sugar; Gushers (mixed fruit bag) only has 80 cals, 0 fat and 14 sugar--1/4 the calories, and 1/3 the sugar of Skittles!

Parents aren't immune to the trappings of a bucket of Halloween candy either. On Livestrong.com'??s MyPlate tool, a food tracking application, candy consumption rises dramatically in the two weeks following Halloween! In the first two weeks of November 2010, Butterfingers showed a 704% increase on MyPlate recordings, Snickers a 684% increase, and Kit Kat, a 644% increase. Bornstein recommends recording what you eat to keep accountable and help correct negative eating patterns.

But, according to Bornstein, indulging in a fun-size candy bar or two is fine, as long as families are being honest about what they'??re eating. We'll be enjoying a few mini Snickers bars too, but freezing the rest for treats throughout the next few months.

Oatmeal Cookies

But before Halloween, October 29th is National Oatmeal Day!

Besides cookies, there is so much more to oatmeal than meets the eye!

  • Remember oatmeal baths from when you had the chicken pox? Oatmeal baths can also be used for relief from poison ivy, insect bites, sunburns and dry skin!
  • Having a light snack (think bowl of oatmeal) a few hours before bedtime may help you sleep better, according to a Mayo Clinic doctor.
  • According to Real Simple contributor and registered dietitian Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., eating the same breakfast everyday "like oatmeal with seeds and nuts" is one quick ritual for a better day.
  • Whether it's steel-cut or instant, an oat is an oat is an oat, says Cooking Light. Flattening and steaming does not remove whole-grain benefits, so you get all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber from either type.

Check out BetterOats.com for some great oatmeal recipes as well as coupons for their oatmeal products, and celebrate by making oatmeal cookies!

Shannon is a Canadian mom to her two little Texans, now living in Colorado, and the author of '??BentoLunch.net '?? What'??s for Lunch at Our House,'? her blog detailing the adventures of feeding her children.

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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