Facs4fun's Blog

Enriching the Lives of our FACS students

Halloween Candy = Unwanted Calories

Halloween is just around the corner, and with that comes halloween treats.  But what is “Scary” about it, is the calories that come with those little bit sizes of fun! 

Topping the list of “Scary Treats” are…..

Reese’s Pumpkins.  These cute little treats pack in a full 170 calories in just one cute oversized pumpkin shaped treat, with 10 g. fat (3 g. saturated fat) and 16  g. of sugar.  This is nearly 2/3 more calories than a regular Reese’s peanut butter cup.  By choosing the bite size treats you will save yourself on calories, fat, and sugar, but that doesn’t mean you should eat more. There are 36 calories in a Reese’s mini with 4 g. fat (3 g saturated), and 6 g sugar.

BUTTERFINGER “Fun size” – I have never been one to like a butterfinger, and this may be why…  One fun size bar will give you 100 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), and 10 g sugars. 

Brach’s Candy Corn Treat Pack – I have never been one to like candy corn, and I always laugh at my husbands story about how he asked for candy corn one Christmas and was given a whole shopping cart full of this sugary stuff from the “big man” in the red suit.  Surely that is the reason that he no longers eats it… makes me laugh to think of what his eyes may have been like when he saw all that candy.  While candy corn is not on the top of the list for “Worst treat” it does come with quite a few calories for it’s size.  50 calories per little bag.  The same amount of calories come from eating ONE Twix Mini or one York Peppermint Patty miniature.  If I had my choice – I would go for the York peppermints.

But my all time favorite Halloween candy would have to be the classic Tootsie Roll Midgee.  These cute little treats hold 23 calories per mini, and while you could unwrap a bag of them and eat them up, I must be getting too old to have the desire for candy.  Two or three midgees will do, and I have gotten my sugar fix for the day.

So why do we care about calories in candy at Halloween.  As adults, we are always watching our waist line, and we are the ones who purchase the candy to hand out at Halloween (if we do indeed participate in the event)  Here are some tips to keep from packing in the calories over the next few weeks after the kids have all collected their goods.

1.  Don’t purchase candy to hand out that you like – If you purchase cnady you like, it may not even make it to halloween night.  Purchase candy that you will not be tempted to eat – If it were me – I would be passing out skittles or better yet no candy at all – why not “silly bands” or apples (that would keep the kids from coming to visit huh?)  :~)

2.  Don’t let the candy bowl sitting by the front door or on the kitchen table after halloween night.  When you find yourself wanting a snack, or rushing out the door, you will be less tempted to eat it if it is out of sight (in a cookie jar or in the cabinet)

3. Don’t want to have the candy left around after Halloween – Leave the light on and put it on the front porch – Without a doubt, some kids will come by and dump the entire container in their pillowcase and take it home… Not that we want them to eat all of that, but their metabolisms are faster than ours.

4.  Don’t take all the candy that your kids don’t want – we were laughing the other day during lunch about when we were kids and we would try to leave the candy we didn’t like with someone else and trade it for something that we liked…  My favorite candy used to be snickers, but over time I have decided that I don’t really care for candy – I would rather eat a delicious cheesecake or piece of pie.  Ration the candy out to the kids over the coming months (if it indeed lasts that long) that way you are not dealing with the sugar highs and lows that come with eating all of that stuff…

I am not anti-halloween, or a label reader really, but thought that this was an interesting topic to cover at this time of year, since we are talking about caloric intake and exercise – It is always best to remember to eat things in moderation and to limit fats and sweets – I don’t want to see all of my kids becoming diabetic later in life of having cavities galore from all the sweet treats that they indulged in as a child…  but remember – Calories do count, and the older we get, the more they seem to matter, as the bodies metabolism slows down and we begin to become more aware of what goes into our mouths.

Have a safe and Happy halloween – and kids – Don’t eat too much candy…

What is your favorite candy???  Let us know.


NO… I Don’t Mean LIKE “Home Ec”

When talking to people in public, I often get strange looks when I tell them that I teach Family and Consumer Sciences.  I tell them we do food and nutrition, childcare, interior design and more.  Most people then reply – “Oh, Like HOME EC”  but really we are NOT like Home Ec anymore.

Gone are the days of preparing “girls” to graduate, get married, have children and stay at home doing all the meal preparation, laundry, cleaning and more…

This is an excerpt taken from a 1950’s Housekeeping Monthly article showing what was expected of a woman in those days…

What do you think about this?

But gone are the days of women staying at home and doing all the housework.  Today, more and more women are entering the workforce and helping to provide for the family, often times not being home to prepare meals for the family – leaving dad and the kids in charge (That could be a scary thought).  So don’t you think it is important for both boys and girls to prepare themselves for life inthe future by having FACS classes on their resume?

With the change of the name (made over 15 years ago) come changes to curriculum.  We are not longer “Stitch and Stir” – We are so much more than that.

So what do we do in Family and Consumer Sciences?  We teach Healthy Food lifestyles,  Financial Management, Careers, Interior Design, Vacation Planning and so much more.  There are standards that we meet which help to cover the Virginia SOL’s in all areas of our program.  Students in FCS classes are learning about the chemistry of the food they eat and the nutritional content, and how to improve their food choices to create a better being.  Students are leaning how to create a budget for their failies and to balance a checkbook (even though many times the computer will do it for us – it is a skill that needs to be known how to do so that we know how much money we really have).  Students are learning practical skills and knowledge that will be used later in life when they decide to get a job, or attend private colleges, state universities, and technical schools.  They don’t just learn what “fat soluble” Vitamin A, D, E, and K do, they learn where they can get it, how it works, and what happens if you do not get enough of it.

Family and Consumer Sciences isn’t a thing of the past – Is is a window to the FUTURE – Kids NEED Family and Consumer Sciences to prepare them for life – Just as this poem says…

Most of what I really need to know about life and what to do and how to be…..I learned in Family and Consumer Sciences.

I didn’t learn it in math or science or Spanish…I learned it in my Family and Consumer Sciences classes.

This is what I learned…..

Choose food from the Food Pyramid. Avoid fats and sweets. Keep food safe.

Choose clothes to flatter your body type. Clean and fix them when needed.

Budget your money wisely. Shop sales. Read labels, leases, sales and mortgage agreements very carefully.

Don’t be a parent too soon. It’s also a good idea to be married first.

Choose someone you get along with…then have the baby. Nurture it, love it, give it the right discipline and know when to let it go.

Learn to balance work and family. Learn to get along with others…Learn to like yourself!

Think of what a better world it would be if we were all equipped with the life skills taught in Family and Consumer Sciences…

If we all had strong happy families….Had balanced budgets…Could resolve conflict without violence.

It’s still true, no matter how old you are…Whether you are male or female… What career you’ve chosen…

It’s still best to go out into the world equipped with basic life skills.

These are all skills that we are teaching in the 7th and 8th grade curriculum and it is great when you have high school students come back and THANK YOU for teaching them all the things that they need to be a responsible adult.  That is what The FACS of Life are all about!


Did you know…?

October is Hunger Awareness Month

While many of us think about what is going to be for dinner in the evening, or about the cookouts that we enjoy in the cooler fall months, we need to recognize that there are millions of people who go without food every day.  I found this list of things that we could do to support and celebrate Hunger Awareness month on eHow.  (clicking this link will show the same list as below)

There are many things you can do that can help people who regularly go without food, are starving and malnourished. In industrialized countries, many people waste food without thinking twice about it. Keep reading to learn about things that you can do to celebrate Hunger Awareness Month.

Instructions – these are things that you can do to help with those who are going hungry each day… a little bit can make a BIG difference.

  1. Remember not to waste food. Only prepare as much food as you are planning on eating. On the other hand, if you do make too much, eat the leftovers the next day.
  2. Learn the difference between physical hunger, emotional hunger and habitual hunger. We must eat when we are experiencing physical hunger, but when you are tempted to eat because of emotions or habit, try to find another activity to pass the time.
  3. Recognize that some people mistake hunger for thirst. Therefore, between meals, drink some water before you get a snack.
  4. Raise awareness about the problem of poverty and starvation. There are people in many areas of the world who are struggling just to survive. They rarely, if ever, have enough food to eat or clean water to drink. Tell your friends and family about the ways you are celebrating Hunger Awareness Month and trying to help.
  5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Soup kitchens provide food to low income people for little or no cost. Being in this environment and helping out will help you become aware of how prevalent poverty and hunger really is. Another way you can help in your own community is to donate funds or canned goods to your local food bank.
  6. Find a reputable organization that helps feed starving people in other countries and donate money to them. Feel good about yourself for helping others and making a difference in the world.

Take time to support on of the causes in our local area.  There are many local food banks, consider donating to the food drive when it is taking place at school.  There are many volunteer opportunities out there if you just look for them.

What organizations in the local Loudoun area do you know of – Leave a comment about them, and let us know if you have helped there before.  If you have a contact name, leave that here as well so others can contact them to see if help is needed.  There are many local people who can use our help so let’s see what we can do to make a difference.

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