The Teal Pumpkin Project: How to Celebrate Halloween with Non-Food Treats

Halloween is an exciting time of year that typically means candy, costumes, and cold weather. However, the candy that is a common household staple during this time is generally not recommended for the pre-and-post-operative bariatric surgery patient. These sweet treats are highly palatable, so they can be easy to overeat. The extra calories and added sugars can quickly add up and lead to digestive upset or plateaus in your overall weight loss. Although Halloween and several other holidays are highly food focused, this should not stop you from celebrating them! Rather, you can find alternate ways to celebrate while still reaching your weight loss goals.


Food Allergy Research & Education, also known as FARE, promotes a worldwide movement known as the Teal Pumpkin Project. This aims to create an inclusive Halloween for everyone, by offering non-food items to trick-or-treaters. This movement can be especially important for children with food allergies or other conditions where candy is not an option. While you may not be a trick-or-treater with food allergies yourself, offering non-food treats may be a good strategy to keep candy out of the house, while still enjoying the festivities with your family, friends, and neighborhood.

To participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, place a freshly painted teal pumpkin or colorful sign in front of your house to notify trick-or-treaters and their families that you are offering non-food treats. You can also add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map and spread the word to your friends and family through word of mouth and social media platforms. There are several options for non-food items that you could give out, including glow sticks, bracelets, pencils, crayons, bubbles, rings, etc., just to name a few! To read more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit www.foodallergy.corg


As a reminder, if you choose to celebrate Halloween this year, follow the CDC guidelines to keep yourself and others safe: maintain at least six feet of social distancing and always wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when out in public. If you don’t plan on celebrating Halloween this year, that’s okay, too – you can save these ideas for next year and take the Teal Pumpkin pledge to stay safe at home.


Call 817-832-7227 to schedule your appointment and discuss your nutrition in detail.


Article provided by: Jessica Wiklund, MS, RD, LDRegistered/Licensed Dietitian for Trinity Bariatric Institute, PLLC

Fall Fruits and Vegetables

Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, as they provide us with a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They are generally low calorie, making them a great choice as you continue to reach your weight loss goals through proper nutrition. Aim to include at least one serving of fruit or vegetables at each meal or snack.

When possible, I recommend eating fruits and vegetables that are in season. Eating seasonally means that fresh produce is purchased and eaten near the time that it was harvested. By doing this, it is often much tastier and fresher. It can also be more cost-effective and a great way to support local farmers. The list below includes a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are best harvested, purchased, and eaten in the fall:

  • Apples
  • Basil
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Green Beans
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Lemons
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Rosemary
  • Spinach
  • Winter Squash
  • Zucchini

My personal favorites (taste wise) include bell peppers, onions, and raspberries. Bell peppers come in several varieties and provide a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium. Notably, the red bell pepper also contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Bell peppers are versatile in meals and snacks – eat them lightly sautéed as a side at lunch or dinner or raw as a snack with extra crunch.

Onions are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, and manganese. Although preparing onions can cause tears due the sulfuric compounds present, chilling the onion before and cutting into the root end of the onion last may provide some relief. They come in red, yellow, and white varieties and each has a different flavor.

Raspberries are high in fiber, Vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin K, and antioxidants. Try adding raspberries to a low fat, plain Greek yogurt for a high protein, nutrient dense snack. Similarly, you can fill individual raspberries with or dip them into a low fat, plain Greek yogurt and freeze them for a sweet, healthy snack.

Remember: with your fruit and vegetable intake, it’s important to be consistent, add variety, and eat seasonally when possible. For a more extensive list of seasonal fruit and vegetables, visit here and here to read more.

Call 817-832-7227 to schedule your appointment and discuss your nutrition in detail.

Article provided by: Jessica Wiklund, MS, RD, LD • Registered Dietitian for Trinity Bariatric Institute, PLLC

Welcome our new Dietician!

We are so excited to welcome our newest team member. Jessica Wiklund, MS, RD, LD is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian based in Dallas-Fort Worth Texas. Jessica joined the Trinity Bariatric Institute team as a Bariatric Dietitian in July 2020. She always had a passion for helping others achieve optimal health through proper nutrition.
Jessica graduated from Texas Tech University in 2017 with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics. Shortly after completing her undergraduate degree, she returned to the DFW metroplex to continue her education and training. In 2019, she completed a Dietetic Internship and graduated with an M.S. in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.
In addition to working with bariatric patients at Trinity Bariatric Institute, Jessica also works with a variety of patients at Baylor All Saints Medical Center as a Clinical Dietitian. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, staying active, and spending time with friends, family, and three pets.