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Candy in, candy out

Halloween offers recycling options, healthy ideas

Good news for those of you who love trick-or-treating with the young’uns: The free Heights Safe Halloween event will still be offered this year at the Hood River Armory on the Heights Halloween evening, 5-7 p.m. The Heights Business Association, the City of Hood River and Hood River Lions are hosting the event.

Other Safe Halloween trick-or-treating events will be held downtown, with its Oak Street closure from 5-7 p.m.; at Providence Senior Village (Brookside and Down manors) from 4:30-7 p.m.; Hood River Care Center, 5-7 p.m.; Parkhurst House Assisted Living, 5:30-6:30 p.m., and at the Immanuel Lutheran Church carnival, 5:30-8 p.m.

However, if you are concerned about all the sugar that event might add to your family’s cavities or waistlines, there is another piece of good news.

Hood River Dental is hosting a candy buy-back (for the troops) program Thursday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Nov. 2, entitled Ca$h for Candy to prevent Cavities! All collected candy will be sent to U.S. troops overseas, along with toothbrushes.

Bring in your unwrapped candy and Dr. Curtis Haynie will give you $1 for each pound!

The event is open to everyone and participants will receive fun prizes as well. Haynie’s goal is to donate 50 pounds of candy to the troops. Stop by at 1805 Belmont Ave. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

If you are trying to skip the candy altogether and instead wish to turn the treats into something life-saving, the Hood River Library is coordinating the “Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ program. Cash donations are collected by children at Halloween and are offered to support food, clean water, medicine and education to needy children worldwide. Participating families may attend the UNICEF 5:30 p.m. party Oct. 31 at the library.

If you are contemplating how best to manage this season’s plethora of goodies, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital has some helpful tips for you:

n Buy candy you don’t like — you’ll be less likely to pilfer from the stash.

n Stick it to your sweet tooth — buy yourself sugarless gum to have on hand and reach for that instead when the candy bowl calls.

n Give it away — donate it, bring it to work, use it to decorate upcoming Christmas cards or packages. Get creative.

n Bust a move — think of each piece of candy as a package that requires something physical: an extra flight of stairs, a walk at lunch, a few sit-ups before bed.

n Cut yourself a deal — if you indulge in the first piece, pair it with something healthy as well. Eat an apple, some carrots or a banana as a follow-up. Or, try to drink an 8-ounce glass of water before the next bite.

n Go to the dark side — if you just must, choose dark chocolate. Look for 70 percent or higher cocoa content — numerous studies show health benefits with dark chocolate eaten sparingly.

n Give yourself a break — ease up on guilt by finding a balance between sweet treats and nourishing.

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