7 Tips for a Healthy Halloween for Trick-or-Treaters
Halloween is an exciting time for your children, but all that sugar can be truly scary for their health! By following these tips, your kids can still have fun, and eat their candy too.
1. Fill up first
Feeding your kids a healthy dinner before they head out to trick-or-treat is a great way to lower their desire to binge on candy. If kids are full before they go trick-or-treating, then they will be less tempted to eat the candy along the way and eat fewer pieces of candy afterwards.
2. Teach good habits
Halloween is a great time to talk to your kids about sugar and their teeth. Consider sitting down and reminding them that eating too many sweets can lead to cavities.
Instead of saying that candy is “bad”, tell your children that eating too much candy and other sweet treats is simply not good for their teeth (or their health). This will help your kids learn that what they eat affects their health and that they have control over their diets.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
There’s no need for your children to consume a whole shopping bag full of candy.
When they come back from trick-or-treating, go through their collection together and let them pick out their favorites. Then bag up the excess unopened candy and bring it to our office on Tuesday, November 4th from 3:30 – 5:30.
Your kids will get $1 for each pound of candy, up to five pounds. Then we’ll ship the candy in care packages to American military servicemen and women as part of Operation Gratitude.
It’s a wonderful way to put those extra treats to good use and bring a smile to the troops by sending a little comfort from home.
4. Not all candy is created equally scary
Encourage your kids to eat candy that melts fast and can be eaten quickly, like chocolate. Try to avoid gooey, sticky sweets (like caramels, taffy, gummy bears and hard candy) that can linger in their mouths and cling to their teeth.
Besides how often your kids snack, the length of time sugary food is in the mouth plays a key role in tooth decay. Candy that stays in the mouth for a long period of time increases the risk for cavities.
5. Enjoy in moderation
There’s a reason candy is called a “treat.” Candy is not what’s for dinner. Set a time to have treats with snacks or meals, not in between. It is always best to eat sweets with other foods.
Knowing they have a specific sweet time can help reduce the temptation to eat sweets at other times of the day.
6. Reduce temptation
When buying Halloween candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters, buy your kids’ least favorite ones so they are not tempted to eat them.
7. Relax and enjoy
Halloween is the one holiday out of the whole year that is just for kids, and candy is a big part of it.
If your children generally eat well all year long, then there’s nothing wrong with letting them eat candy on Halloween night and a few pieces afterwards.
Dr. Ryan Roberts is a board certified pediatric dentist at On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry.