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

Protein Packed Foods

Protein is a macromolecule that has several key functions in the body, one of which includes maintaining lean mass during a period of weight loss. Therefore, adequate protein intake is essential before and after having bariatric surgery. Your physician and/or dietitian can help you determine what your daily protein intake should be.

Consume protein from lean, whole food sources. Food choices that are high in protein are also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as several B Vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and zinc.

Recommended foods that are higher in protein include:

  • Poultry without skin
  • Fish and seafood
  • Deli meat slices
  • Lean cuts of beef and pork
  • Tuna packed in water
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Low fat and skim milk
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat, low sugar yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts

Choose at least one source of protein to eat with all meals and snacks throughout the day. Serving sizes and total protein content range depending on the type of protein, but three ounces of meat, poultry, or fish can generally provide around 21 grams of protein total. Consistent protein intake throughout the day can help you feel full longer and enhance the body’s absorption of protein.

If you are unable to consume adequate protein from whole food sources alone, a protein supplement may be recommended once or twice daily to meet your minimum daily protein needs. When choosing a protein supplement, be sure to look for 20-30 grams of protein and <5 grams of added sugar per serving.

Recommended protein supplements include:

  • Bariatric Advantage® High Protein Meal Replacement
  • Ensure® Max Protein
  • UNJURY™ Protein
  • Premier Protein®

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

What is BMI?

What does BMI stand for? Why is this so important?

BMI or Body Mass Index will tell you if you are considered overweight or obese.  To figure your Body Mass Index, you take your weight in kilograms and divide it by the square of your height in meters.  The number that you get tells you whether you are at a healthy weight.

Are you overweight? Use our BMI Calculator on our home page to find out:










BMI Break Down: It is important to understand where your BMI lands because when wanting to undergo bariatric surgery, your insurance will look at this to qualify you for bariatric coverage.

Under 18.5 – Underweight

18.5-24.9 – Normal Weight

25-29.9 – Overweight

30-39.9- Obese

40 and Over- Morbidly Obese

Every time your weight changes, your Body Mass Index changes so calculate this often during your weight loss journey.  This will help keep you motivated when you are working towards your weight goals.  Setting goals for your BMI is a great place to start.  If you are in the category of 35 or over, make it your goal to get to 29.9.  Though 29.9 is still considered overweight, this is a huge accomplishment to go from obese to overweight.  You and your body will feel healthier and you should have more energy to continue your journey.

To start your weight loss journey today, book an appointment online: