Candy’s not dandy: Treat your employees to something healthier this Halloween

Jack-o-lanterns and crones. Goblins and ghouls. Haunted houses and pumpkin patches.

Like every holiday, Halloween is chock-full of traditions. Many small businesses join in the fun by hanging a few decorations, stringing up some cobwebs or, for the more ambitious, putting some creepy gadgets at the reception desk.

There’s one tradition, however, that could use a makeover – the Halloween candy bowl. This Halloween, don’t be afraid to treat your employees and visitors to something much healthier than candy bars and other sugary confections with little or no nutritional value.

Sure, making this change is not a big deal. But it tells employees that you’re concerned about their health and reminds them that it’s important to make good food choices. Plus, it can benefit your business: Employees who have a few too many treats will get a sugar rush, which, when it wears off, will cause fatigue, lack of focus and diminished productivity.

Here are some other snacks that dietician and weight-loss management educator Grace DeRocha recommends on her blog as healthier choices for your Halloween bowl:

  • Baked chips
  • Pretzels
  • Trail mix
  • Animal crackers
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit such as raisins or plums

Do you know someone who likes to bake? Another good choice would be pumpkin muffins, cut into bite size pieces, of course. Air-popped popcorn spritzed with olive oil spray is also a tasty, sugar-free treat.

If you’re not yet ready to go cold turkey on the candy, you might want to consider some other options.  For example, you can use a bowl with a divider, and put the healthier snacks on the other half. (If your employees only eat the candy, it might be time to educate them about nutrition.)

Here are some tips, advice and things you should know about Halloween candy:

  • Try candies that last. A lollipop is typically lower in calories and always a good choice.
  • Fruity candy can be deceiving. While it may be “fat free,” it often has artificial colors and flavors.
  • Small size does not mean fewer calories. For example, a “fun size” Butterfinger has 100 calories!
  • Compare the number of ingredients — the fewer the better.

You also want to help your employees avoid temptation. Put your candy bowl in a place where they’re not likely to gather and linger. The reception desk is usually a better location than the kitchen.

And tell employees that their leftover candy doesn’t belong in the workplace. Ask them to bring healthy snacks instead.


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