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Gioia Urges Healthy Halloween Treats

Given locally high rates of overweight and obese children, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, whose district includes El Cerrito and Kensington, asks residents to give healthy options to trick-or-treaters instead of junk food.

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, whose district includeds El Cerrito and Kensington, has issued a plea for a "Happy Healthy Halloween."

He urges that trick-or-treaters be given alternatives to unhealthy junk food, and he invites residents to visit his district office from 1-5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday this week for "a free Healthy Halloween sample bag."

Here is an email notice that Gioia sent out last week:

I love Halloween, with its costumes, pumpkin carving, trick or treating, and haunted houses.  But, as both a parent and a public official, I strongly believe in the importance of encouraging healthy eating. This is especially important at a time when our country faces an epidemic of childhood obesity, which is linked to many serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.

We need to counter the billion dollar advertising blitz waged by junk foodmanufacturers around Halloween, much of which targets children.

Halloween treats can be colorful and festive without the sugar, fat, and empty calories of candy. I encourage you to join the growing numbers of people passing out fun, festive treats like pencils, erasers, markers, stickers, small toys, or all-fruit snacks.  I know from my 8-year old daughter just how much kids like them.

Please stop by my office Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of next week for a free Healthy Halloween sample bag.  

I'm also donating healthy treats to Verde Elementary School in North Richmond to replace all of the of candy students normally receive at school Halloween parties.

Gioia's office is at 11780 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito.

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What do you plan to give trick-or-treaters who come to your door? Tell us in the comments?

Renee Cohen October 28, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Individual packs with nuts, dried fruits is a sweet and healthy substitute for candy.
M. E. Campbell of Kensington, CA October 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM
A handful of shiny new pennies for school aged kids is fun too.
Paul D October 28, 2012 at 04:53 PM
M.E. with all due respect, what year of the 19th Century were you born in? Pennies? C'mon....
Kim October 29, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Dentists will tell you dried fruit and fruit snacks are actually really bad for the teeth.
Sarah Sirchuk October 29, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I just went to Thrift Town in El Sobrante and got 4 large bags of small stuffed animals (70+) for a total of $12. I washed them in my washer with detergent and hot water and dried them hot for an hour so they are fluffy and clean.I was delighted how well they came out. I will be giving these out along with gently used children's books. Sarah Sirchuk
Local Mom October 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM
We got our gift bags yesterday and my kids are really enjoying them. Thanks Sup. Gioia!
Local Mom October 30, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Unfortunately I (and probably most parents) would take away anything that wasn't factory sealed. My 4 y.o. would dig the pennies, though, for his piggy bank.

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