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Lets Talk Health Q & A

Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help.

Q: How do I make Halloween healthy for my kids?

A: As a parent, Halloween can be an interesting nutritional challenge: You want your child to build healthy habits and eat well, but you also want them to engage in fun holiday festivities.

During the day, serve healthy meals with a Halloween spirit such as whole wheat pumpkin pancakes and quesadillas with jack-o’-lantern faces.

At trick-or-treating time, try handing out healthy items such as:

  • Boxes of raisins.

  • Pre-packaged apple slices or pineapple chunks.

  • Tangerines with jack-o’-lantern faces drawn on the peel.

  • 100% juice boxes.

  • Fruit cups or applesauce pouches.

  • Mini bottled water with fun, spooky DIY labels.

It's okay to allow your kids to eat some candy on Halloween, as this is the one day of the year they can splurge. Experts recommend offering a glass of milk with candy to improve the chance at good nutrition.

Have your kids separate out the candies they don’t enjoy. Before you throw away the unwanted candy, check for dentists in your area who trade cash for candy.

On the days following Halloween, put the candy away and out of sight which can help with candy cravings.

— Suzanne Watkins, RD, dietitian at Samaritan Albany General Hospital

Q: Are there reasons beyond COVID-19 to keep my masks around?

A: It’s understandable if you’re ready to be done with your mask, but they are helpful for protecting your lungs, especially for those with underlying lung disease, even in non-COVID times. Consider the following:

Air quality concerns — Wearing an N95 mask can help you tolerate being outside for short periods when the air quality is poor such as during wildfire season or when the air quality index is over 100.

Metal work — Some hobbies like jewelry-making create harmful fumes and particulates while soldering. Use an N95 mask or personal respirator to minimize your exposure.

Painting — Use a respirator while painting with a paint gun, which will filter out fine particulates and chemical fumes.

Home mold repair — When cleaning up water damage, use an N95 mask to protect your lungs from mold spores.

Fall and spring cleaning — If you use heavy duty solvents like grout or oven cleaner, a simple surgical or cloth mask is fine since most home-use products can be applied directly to the object you’re cleaning and are not aerosolized.

Outdoor allergies — An N95 mask gives excellent protection for outdoor chores like mowing or raking leaves, but a cloth or surgical mask can also help.

— Tomer Pelleg, DO, Samaritan Medical Group Pulmonology – Corvallis


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Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.


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