Halloween is all about the candy and costumes, right?
While parents are happy to accompany their children trick-or-treating in their favorite ghost, goblin, princess or superhero costume, all that candy can get in the way of a healthy diet if it isn't monitored, according to the Toby Smithson, RD, LDN, CDE Community Dietician with the Lake County Health Department.
Smithson is advising parents to utilize some helpful tips to avoid over-consumption of goodies, while allowing kids to enjoy the holiday in the healthiest possible way.
These suggestions include:
- Wait to buy Halloween candy until closer to the holiday; if it isn't there it can't be snacked on.
- Just before trick-or-treating, feed your children a healthy meal so they aren't ravenous when they return and want to overindulge in sweets.
- Ensure your children brush their teeth well after feasting on their candy spoils.
- Hand out items other than candy to trick-or-treaters, such as dried fruit, stickers, pencils, erasers, key chains or other non-sugar or healthier food items.
- For Halloween parties, choose activites that don't center around candy, such as a costume contests, dunking for apples, creating a haunted room to enjoy. Provide snacks such as air-popped popcorn, or fruits and vegetables dressed up to highlight the holiday.
- Limit the number of homes your children can trick-or-treat at to reduce the amount of candy they take home with them.
Parents can also look into Halloween Candy Buy Back programs sponsored by area dentists to find a place for excess candy. All you have to do is visit the link above and plug in your zip code, and paricipating dentists near you will be listed.
And don't forget to have a [semi-sweet] Happy Halloween!