It's every tooth's worst nightmare, but job security for dentists. A holiday almost entirely devoted to the collection and consumption of cavity-creating candies.
As a mother of three boys this is both an exciting and scary time because I love Halloween, but don't love the copious amounts of sugar the day entails.
Children nowadays are more obese than ever, and that's largely because of poor-snack choices. That's why it's important to monitor the amount of sweets children consume, especially during Halloween.
The idea of limiting trick-or-treat choices may seem wrong considering how kids love candy so much, but in reality it needs to be considered. One way to do this is by substituting candy with healthy trick-or-treat choices.
Below's a list of tips to help prevent kids from overloading on sugar this Halloween.
- Fuel Up First
Before sending your little ones off trick-or-treating, the American Diabetes Association recommends filling them up with a healthy meal first, reasoning that they'll be less likely to gorge on candy with a full belly.
- Help Them Stay Hydrated
Since our ghosts and goblins will be running around the neighborhood, quench their thirst with water. Before leaving the house, have them choose a water bottle that has the same theme as their costume. That way they'll be more likely to keep it with them.
- Spearhead a Candy-Sorting Game
While you can’t control what goes into the loot bag, you can control where it goes next. Kids are actually more comfortable if they know what to expect, so be clear and confident about whatever policy you decide to set.
Chances are most of the candy will end up in the trash, so in order to avoid wasting candy, I suggest making an "okay to eat" pile and a "send to our troops" pile. This way, kids get to pick out which treats to keep, the candy-givers' money and time isn't wasted and America's brave soldiers get some Halloween goodies!
- Distract Them
Take some emphasis off candy by focusing on the fun of the holiday, like checking out the costumes and.
- Get Your Feet Moving
I know it's colder in some parts than others, but try walking instead of driving when out collecting candy. That way kids get a little physical activity mixed into the evening.
- Hand Out Healthy Treats
If you're the one doing the treat handouts, do parents a favor by offering their kids healthier-treat options.
Give kids sugar-free items, like gum and candy and sugar-free packaged puddings, gelatins and yogurts. Those tube-packaged yogurts are a huge favorite with children of all ages.
Sugar-free gelatins and puddings are great to replace junk food because a lot of the gelatins nowadays include actual fruit juice and antioxidants. Nabisco makes crackers and cookies in 100 calorie packs, which is another great way to monitor the amount of sugar and fat kids consume.
For the Martha-Stuart types out there who make their own sweet treats, consider labeling the item with your name, address or phone number in case a suspicious parent decides to trash it.
All in all, there isn't any reason that trick-or-treating can't be a healthy and fun-filled event, instead of the cavity-and-fat producing one it normally is.
For more information on how to donate unwanted candies to our troops, click here.