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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: October 29, 2013


Halloween does not have to be all about stomach aches or sugar overload. You can purchase healthy snacks for trick-or-treaters instead of traditional Halloween candy. That's the seasonal suggestion from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), which leads the state effort to encourage healthier diets to prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

"Delawareans can encourage good nutrition in their own communities by giving trick-or-treaters healthier snacks," said DPH Director Karyl T. Rattay. "Halloween is actually a wonderful way to get kids to try new healthy snacks using the fun of the day, and it helps families with the 5-2-1-Almost None lifestyle goals to prevent childhood obesity and empower families make healthier choices."

5-2-1-Almost None means: eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; spending no more than two hours a day of recreational time in front of a screen; getting one or more hours of physical activity daily; and drinking almost no sugary beverages. Daily calories should also be high in fiber, low in sugar and sodium, and contain essential vitamins and minerals. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling because they are high in fiber.

For your ghosts and ghouls, purchase pre-packaged, individual-serving size treats or consider items like these:

For safety, all snacks should be pre-sealed and not be consumed if the seal appears to be tampered with or broken.

"If candy is a must around your neighborhood or household, work with your kids on portion control and help them learn the important lesson of taking small portions of treats over a period of days," said Rita Landgraf, Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary. "Moderation is a key part of having healthy and happy kids."

For more information about how to encourage healthy eating and physical activity, visit this DPH website:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.