Kids love Halloween. After all, when else do they get to decorate their front yards with tombstones and ghosts, dress up in gory costumes, turn their pumpkins in to jack-o-lanterns and end it all with a boat-load of candy? It all seems like fun and games until the trick-or-treating ends. Then parents are faced with the dilemma of setting limits on how much candy their kids can eat at one time. Eating some sugar is virtually unavoidable during Halloween, but too much over time can be detrimental to a kid’s waist-line, teeth and general well-being. So if you feel like all that candy is turning you into a witch, here are a few tips to help make trick-or-treating a little less tricky:
- Make sure kids eat a healthy snack or meal before going out trick-or-treating so they don’t come home starving and ready to eat all their treats at once.
- Set the rules in advance of trick-or-treating. Let kids know that they can have 2 – 3 pieces of candy per day until their candy runs out.
- Make sure they eat their candies after lunch or dinner so that it doesn’t interfere with their appetite.
- “Donate” some of their candy or trade it in for something else like a toy, activity or healthier food.
- Model healthy eating by handing out healthier treats at your house. Try bagged pretzels, raisins or seeds or even a non-food item to teach kids that treats don’t have to be sweet.
- And of course, check your kid’s candy before eating it to make sure it’s safe. Toss any treats that are unwrapped and watch out for big, hard candies that can be choking hazards for little mouths.
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– Ilaria St. Florian on Appetite for Health