Balancing Halloween sweets with nutritious treats

October 31, 2023

Pumpkins stuffed with candy that is scattered everywhere.

Dana White ‘01, Quinnipiac sports dietician and clinical professor of athletic training and sports medicine, stressed the importance of balancing one’s diet throughout the holiday season — beginning with Halloween.

Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween and sweets have become such a major part of this autumnal holiday.

“Any kind of sugar gives the body a rush of quick energy – this can be good and bad at times,” said White. “The brain runs on glucose and there is a lot of it in candy.”

She said any food or snack should be part of a balanced diet. Depriving oneself of something forever because it is unhealthy does not foster a healthy relationship with food, she explained. Balancing candy with healthy meals and snacks is a wise choice for someone looking to nourish their body.

However, there are many alternatives to Halloween candy. Some of White’s favorites are chocolate-dipped clementines or “pantry chocolate bark” that can be made easily at home. These snacks provide nutrients while satisfying one’s sweet tooth.

“Working as an athletic trainer at a prep school after my undergraduate degree, I realized how much about nutrition I didn’t know,” she said.

In her profession, she holds many titles including registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer, journalist and nutrition and fitness consultant, as well as an author of nine cookbooks. Her extensive experience in the field of nutrition has positively impacted the Quinnipiac community greatly and her expertise has been published in various papers.

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