Halloween – growing in popularity year after year!

With Halloween almost here, while kids are eagerly anticipating the one night they get to dress up and cause mischief, parents all around the country are dreading the sugar overload caused by the leftover sweets and goodies from trick or treating.  Research suggests that Irish people alone will spend in the region of €41 million on Halloween each year; now that truly is a scary thought ! Over a third of Irish people (34.4%) plan to give out sweets to trick-or-treaters and two thirds (65.8%) say they will buy chocolates, sweets and confectionery especially for the occasion. Times have definitely changed, back in the day fruit and nuts such as oranges and monkey nuts were given as a treat. Nowadays children’s treat bags are filled with junk.

Sugar consumption in Ireland

On average, children will consume three cups of sugar on Halloween!


Children will consume over 3000 calories of sugary treats on Halloween!

Eating too much sugar can make you gain weight and can also cause tooth decay.

Childhood Obesity in Ireland

One in four children in Ireland are either overweight or obese. 

They are setting themselves up for high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart problems, bone and joint problems because of physically carrying the extra weight and a risk of diabetes. New data shows that Ireland ranks 58th out of 200 countries when it comes to the proportion of overweight children. Just 1% of children in Ireland were classed as obese in 1975, but this has risen to 9% among girls and 10% among boys.

Tooth Decay in Children in Ireland

Three in four Irish children have experienced tooth decay by the time they reach the age of 15. According to figures from the Department of Health, 37% of Irish children consume sweets once a day or more while 21% report drinking soft drinks daily or more. There is overwhelming evidence that sugars in food and beverages are the main dietary cause of tooth decay and erosion in children.

How to have a healthy Halloween

  • Eat a healthy well balanced dinner before trick or treating!
  • Why not try some savoury snacks at your Halloween party, e.g. nuts, vegetables and hummus.

  • Choose or make a smaller collection bag for your child and steer clear of the black bag method.

  • Get some exercise by making Halloween a fun family activity. Walk instead of driving the children from house to house.

  • Bring a bottle of water – it will help children cut back on fizzy drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages.

  • Hand out treats to each trick-or-treater – one per child – instead of letting them decide how much to take.

  • Add fruit to the goody bags – oranges and apples.

  • Limit the intake of sugar on Halloween night and store the rest for use at Christmas!

Some healthy eating tips from the team at GourmetFuel to help keep you stay healthy over Halloween.

  • Try our delicious healthy 200 calorie protein snacks as a treat.
  • Make up a pumpkin soup with the leftover pumpkins! Andy, our Head Chef has a great recipe!
  • Fruit platters – have fruit chopped up and displayed in a fun way so kids can grab and go!
  • Eat foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts and green leafy vegetables.
  • Order some of our tasty and healthy calorie managed meals to help keep you on track whilst the house is full of sugar!
  • Try some new Autumnal dishes – we will soon be launching our hearty stew and butternut squash soup -yummy!


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Emma Buckley

Emma Buckley

Emma is the Director of Nutrition and co-founder of GourmetFuel®. She has developed an entire range of health meals and meal plans to compliment healthy living and fuel performance. Emma Buckley B.Sc RNutr, is a Registered Nutritionist with the UKVRN through the Association for Nutrition, from Dublin, Ireland. A UCD graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry a Graduate Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health and a Higher Diploma in Diet and Nutrition. In almost two decades as a nutritionist she has worked with some of Ireland’s most well known food and health brands. She is an international keynote conference speaker on nutrition and health. She has worked closely with professional and Olympic athletes and coaches covering all track, field and combat sports at the highest levels. Her understanding of how food and the body work together along with a team of gourmet chefs, helps GourmetFuel create a beautiful range of healthy, delicious meals. Emma specialises in weight management, sports nutrition and maternal/postnatal and infant nutrition.

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