Healthy Bites: Halloween ’07

Greetings! Welcome to Healthy Bites, the newsletter for Harris Whole Health. Newsletters have seasonal tips, recipes, and information on upcoming classes. Please feel free to forward this email in its entirety.

To Health,
Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, LD

Tips for Enjoying Halloween with Food Restrictions

  • Talk to teachers and friends about focusing parties around activities (like pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, costume contest) rather than just trick or treating.
  • Get prepared! Figure out what candies are safe for your child (a list comes out each year through the R.O.C.K. group for GF foods). There are also many products through the Allergy Grocer and Enjoy Life Foods that cater to a variety of allergies and intolerances.
  • Pre-stock your Halloween bag with foods that are ‘legal’ for your child (and/or you) so that you can safely snack along the way.
  • Stash safe bags of candy at friend’s houses for your child.
  • Have a trade in. Your child can trade the “problem” candies and treats for “safe” treats, or games, prizes, special outings, etc. You can either stash the “problem” candy somewhere out of reach, or donate it to the foodbank.
  • Read labels carefully! Some treats that are normally GF or allergen free have different ingredients when the shape is changed. Always double check.

Upcoming Classes:

  • Gluten Free Living: The Basics
    October 11th, 6:30-8:00
  • Eating to Reduce Inflammation
    October 17th, 6:30-8:00
  • Gluten Free For the Holidays
    November 7th, 6:30-8:00

Classes at 3345 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA.
Pre-registration is required; for more details, see, then click on “Classes”.

Think outside the candy dish….

When I first told my husband we weren’t giving out candy for Halloween, he looked at me like I had lost my mind. I certainly didn’t want our house to be one of those places that children complain about, but I figured a few yo-yos or puzzles might be a nice change from 101 Tootsie rolls. I was a little nervous about my decision, until my first trick or treater ran back to his dad and said, “Cool! A slinky!”

Oriental Trading Company sells inexpensive toys, stickers, and even temporary tattoos (for children you know well). Another option is mini cans of Play-Doh (though remember, Play Doh has gluten, so if you play, wash your hands thoroughly!) Some are more expensive than candy, but it depends on how you look at it. When you average in the bag of candy you bought on sale in September (and ate), the one in mid-October (which vanished as well) and the one you had to run out at the last minute and buy, it evens out in the end.

Recipe: Warm Mulled Apple Drink

Serves: 8-10 people. Recipe may be halved or quartered.

It’s perfect for a crisp, cool day. We make this for a party every year and the kitchen fills when the autumn smell fills the house…

1-64 oz bottle apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves

Heat apple juice in a large pot over medium heat until barely simmering. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy. If there are leftovers, remove whole spices or it will become VERY spicy!

Recipe: Pumpkin seeds, several ways:

Take an old classic, and get a little creative!

Remove as much of the pumpkin “goop” (a very technical term) as possible from seeds. Wash seeds well, and rub between your hands to remove the fibers. Dry seeds on a paper towel.

For 2 cups of seeds, add:
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil (canola, olive, etc.)
½ -1 teaspoon of coarse salt, depending on taste
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
¼ teaspoon cinnamon AND 2 Tablespoons sugar*
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder AND 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is GF in the US)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and 1 Tablespoon sugar*
Try lemon pepper, seasoned salt, chili powder, garlic salt or curry powder. There are endless variations!

Toss seeds, oil, salt and additional seasonings, if desired.

Preheat oven to 300?. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up. Roast for about 45 minutes, turning every 15-20 minutes.

*you may use a sugar substitute (xylitol, date sugar, etc.) instead of sugar. Just toss seeds with substitute AFTER baking.

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, chronic illness, or if you just want to improve your diet, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, click here or call 571-271-8742.

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