Our Favorite Tricks for Nutrition, and Treats for Splurging

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You can’t find a “one-size-fits-all” nutrition plan.  We all have different ideas on how to stick to a healthful routine. So this Halloween, all of us at Food Insight wanted to share with you our favorite tricks for maintaining a healthy eating pattern, and on the other hand, our favorite treats for splurging. Enjoy! 

Prepping for the Holiday Party
“My favorite trick is to eat something low-calorie and filling in advance of being around high-calorie treats.  I like crispy bran crackers. Taking this extra step helps me to not go overboard on treats. I’m looking forward to a Halloween splurge of my favorite combination of chocolate and peanut butter candy. I might even try it as a topper on crispy bran crackers with a piece of apple or banana to maximize the treat in a new way!”
Kimberly Reed, president, IFIC Foundation


Sharing is Caring
“My favorite trick is when dining out, my wife and I try to share an entrée whenever possible. The portions usually end up being just right, even if we start with an appetizer. We don’t overspend, overeat or have to deal with taking home leftovers. My favorite treat is avocado. It goes with everything … at least in my house it does. It’s loaded with healthy fats and gets me full on a relatively small volume of food. I can’t wait to try some avocado ice cream!”
Kris Sollid, RD, director of nutrition communications


Small But Mighty
“I love those Halloween butter cookies with frosting on top. The cookies are soft and the frosting is so good; it’s my own deliciously spooky form of kryptonite to my diet. So to prevent me from eating too many at once, I like to use my short stature to my advantage. At 5’3”, to reach the top shelves in my apartment, I have to use a step stool. This is sometimes a burden of some sorts, but for delicious Halloween treats, it’s incentivized portion control. Another trick? I like to eat these cookies with something else, normally a big salad or some fruit. This way, I’m still eating something healthful, and I won’t finish my cookies hungry and wanting more.”
Kamilah Guiden, digital media manager


Avoiding Temptation
My favorite trick is buying candy I don’t like so leftovers are not a problem to haunt me!  Yet, Halloween is a special time and if you want to have a treat, you should!  But if you splurge on Halloween, don’t beat yourself up!  Savor the treat and hop back on the moderation wagon on All Saints Day.
– Geraldine McCann, chief operating officer



Staying Hydrated
“My favorite trick to avoid snacking too much throughout the day is to be sure to drink lots of water. Sometimes I want a little flavor so I will opt for flavored sparkling water (with no calories). Drinking enough water can also help with satiation throughout the day. Also, water is good for you! My favorite treat to splurge on is chocolate … I LOVE it! But for some added health value, I’ll often opt for dark chocolate.”
– Tamika Sims, PhD, director of food technology communications


A Tip for the Kids
“After trick-or-treating, my favorite trick was to have my children go through the candy they received and pick out their favorites. The rest was disposed of and what was left was placed in the freezer.  They were allowed to select 3-4 pieces for a weekend treat. This helped them to learn portion control as they grew up.”
– Ruth Ayers, manager of board relations and strategic initiatives


All About Those Portions
“My favorite trick for splurging is eating half and saving the other half for lunch the next day. Another trick is to order from the appetizer menu.  The portions are smaller and often cost less.”
– Tony Flood, senior director of food safety





Home Delivered Meals
“I don’t know if it’s my favorite trick, but my newest trick—as of this week—is to subscribe to a home meal delivery service. I want to eat more healthfully and better control my portions, while not purchasing too many perishable ingredients. Plus, I hope it will be a ‘gateway’ for me to learn more cooking skills. For my favorite treat, I’m going to be totally original and pick ice cream—preferably vanilla, chock-full of goodies like chocolate chip cookie dough, brownie bits or toffee. Even so, it’s still all about portion control. Instead of eating from the pint carton, I’ll scoop a sensible amount into a small bowl. It doesn’t guarantee that I won’t eat the whole thing anyway, but at least it gives me a fighting chance.”
– Matt Raymond, senior director of communications



Sneaking in the Veggies
“My favorite trick is to sneak in veggies wherever I can. This usually means that I’ll have some baby carrots or celery as part of my mid-afternoon snack. I also always have frozen vegetables in my freezer. They are a great way to add more veggies to a stir fry, casserole, or sauce at dinner. Taking the opportunity to get an extra serving of vegetables keeps me full during the day. I’ll be less likely to hit up the tempting candy bowl right outside of my office. My go-to treat is dark chocolate. I keep bars of 70-80 percent dark chocolate in my desk, in my kitchen, and in my work bag. Throughout the day, I will usually have 2-3 small squares, and it’s one of my favorite sweet(ish) treats that I enjoy each day. The extra added bonus of flavonoids is great too!”
Megan Meyer, PhD, associate director of science communications



Out of Sight, Out of Mind
“My favorite trick is to limit the treats I bring home. It’s all about ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ It’s a lot easier to maintain a healthy eating pattern if you are mindful of the items you bring into your home. When I do splurge, I choose items that make me feel like I’m eating a lot, but in reality, the caloric intake is minimal. One of my favorite treats for this is popcorn. Popcorn is chocked full of whole grains and, in turn, lots of fiber. But when it’s time to really ‘treat yo’self,’ I’m all about chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.”
– Laura Kubitz, manager of media communications