Sugar-free & Gluten-free Ideas for Halloween!

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In our diet, it’s not always just gluten we’re worried about, right? On Halloween, along with our concern for gluten, we also have  just as important, if not much more pressing health concern during this time of the year: sugar.

Parents out there, tempting as it may be to let loose a bit and let your kids go with all the rainbow colors of candy, we must remember that too much sugar has actual consequences to a child’s health.

It is not just the sugar rush that we’re talking about. Sugar has a much more negative effect on the body that is important for us to know.

image4Dental decay is an obvious one. Sugar is known to speed up breakdown of teeth as it fuels the bad bacteria in the mouth. Though younger kids naturally lose their baby teeth, it is important to take care of them as you would permanent ones as the bacteria on the surface of baby teeth can attack the healthy ones still under the gum surface, which can adversely affect their growth by the time they’re ready to come out.

Study also finds sugar lowers the immune system to up to five hours after consumption. Ever notice that close to midnight or when you’ve been up all night, eating sweets has the effect of making your throat scratchy and making you feel like you’re coming down with something? That’s because sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bad bacteria in our bodies.

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Sugar as fructose  and glucose that are in abundance in Halloween candy also has the effect of make one feel famished. Munching on sweets makes your brain resist leptin, which is the protein that help signal the body that it is full. Anytime sweets are introduced in the diet, it makes it easier to eat too much. Partnered with the fact that sugar is highly addictive, it can lead to complications and diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Though Halloween is just one night a year, letting kids loose on sugar, and having candy in the cookie jar for weeks after, can introduce kids to sugar eating habits and that would be extremely harmful for them in the long run.

Here are a few tips to make this Halloween a little less about the sugar and a bit more about the fun:

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Consider giving out inedible treats like Halloween accessories like glow sticks, colorful bracelets, that they can have fun with while out in the streets at night. Just remember not to give out things that little kids can choke on. You don’t have to worry about  sugar here, and gluten, even.

 

 

Have the tradition of a contest of who can bring home the most candy. That way, kids will have the motivation not to eat any of the candy until they get home, so that you may get a handle on what and how much sweets your kids actually consume.

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Though a bit more out of the way, if you are visiting houses of people you actually know, like friends or relatives, have a deal with them to give out healthier and sugar-free (and gluten-free!) treats to your kids, or prepare something you yourself approve of, and hand them out to house owners before you set out for the night with your kids. It can just be between adults.

Remember that sweets and edibles during Halloween can just be a portion of the fun. Make other fun highlights such as creating costumes, decorating, and storytelling with your kids, that will focus more on the activities rather than the sweets.

Remember, with your kids health on the line it pays to keep the effort to be healthy even on Halloween. 🙂

Mother and Daughter Painting a Pumpkin

 

References:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Albert Sanchez, J. L. Reeser, H. S. Lau, P. Y. Yahiku, R. E. Willard, P. J. McMillan, S. Y. Cho, A. R. Magie, and U. D. Register. – Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. – The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc. 1973., Copyright © 1973,http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract\

The Skimy on Obesity – UCTV Prime http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=23717

 

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Quick & Easy Breakfast Ideas

Let’s face it: most of us hardly ever have time for a proper meal in the morning. Whether it is to squeeze in a few extra minutes of shuteye before heading off to our day, or our to-do lists are simply too long  to make room for a pause in the morning. So, we racked up a few practical ideas here that you can try as quick breakfast options sans the need to deal with your gluten allergy, or celiac disease symptoms. It’s important to keep your energy high first thing in the morning to get things done, don’t you agree? And gluten should be one less thing to worry about at this most important meal of the day.

Eggs

gluten free breakfast eggs with asparagus

Sunny side up, scrambled, or made into a nice omelette, you cannot go wrong with this breakfast item. You can mix in your selection of veggies, add basic spices and herbs and you can have a filling meal in a matter of minutes. A quick trick is to boil a couple of eggs, peel them, dice and mix in with tomatoes, asparagus, a pinch of salt and pepper, and you’re good to go. Healthy, quick, and hassle-free.

Fruits

gluten free breakfast fruits

This seems like a no-brainer but if your time is scarce, you can forget a basic gluten-free item like this. Ready to eat fruits are convenient, and the quickest of quick meals. Make a berries mix, or grab a convenient apple, or a couple of bananas, or dalandan (they’re one of the remaining cheap ones you can find around street markets or groceries around Metro Manila), before going out to run your errands. If you’re really pressed for time, you can finish these while on a drive, or at your desk at work.

Gluten-free pancakes and waffles

gluten free pancakes with raspberries

This is great if you have gluten-free flour lying around. If not, you can also do mashed banana, mixed with gluten-free oat flour, and eggs as replacement. Fry these in a bit of oil, add some berries, or pour into your waffle maker and finish with syrup. You can even make a sandwich out of these with nice spread or fruit filling. Pack them in sandwich bags and you’re done!

Gluten Free Sandwich or Toast

gluten free sandwich

Gluten-free breads are now thankfully easier to come by. Drop by your healthy food store or look for gluten-free breads online. We have a selection for you at GERALD.ph and you can get them home delivered. If you’re serious about eliminating gluten,  this should already be a staple item in your pantry.  Spread a nice jelly filling, peanut or other nut butters, or chocolate spreads. 

Why not try these to rev up your day unglutened? Let us know how it works out! 🙂

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Rice

Here is an excellent gluten-free version of our favorite cauliflower rice recipe! If you are also worried about calories, aside from gluten, this is a great meal substitute for your usual gluten-free pasta or rice.  Excellent to pair with meat or seafood. It is a staple for those on a keto diet, but just as excellent if you also can’t have gluten. You can also try it without the egg or meat for a vegan healthy dish! Ready? Let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS

2 packs of Cauliflower

1 medium-sized carrot, shredded

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

2 chicken breasts (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1 egg (optional)

2 to 3 tbsp gluten-free seasoning

6 to 10 pieces of broccoli florets

3/4 cup frozen peas

 

DIRECTIONS

Chop cauliflower finely using knife or use a food processor to achieve rice-size pieces.

Season the chicken and fry until cooked through (15 to 20 minutes cooking time.) Let cool, and shred it using a fork or cut into small cubes.

In the same pan, sauté  garlic, and then add the cauliflower. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat, making sure to mix to avoid burning. Scramble egg in by directly breaking egg into the pan and mixing.

Mix in the carrots, broccoli, chicken, peas, and spring onions mixing continuously. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until the veggies are soft enough to your liking. Add the gluten free seasoning and sesame oil. Add slices of chili if you want your rice with a bit of a kick. Plate and serve with your favorite side of gluten-free seasoned meat or seafood.

Enjoy!