For kids, Halloween is all about costumes and candy. Lots and lots and lots of candy!
Halloween comes and goes but the candy lingers. What should we do with this glut of candy? The balance is to enjoy the holiday and treats without going overboard.
It’s no secret that candy is made of sugar and eating too much sugar isn’t good for you. On the big night, giving your kids a full nutritious meal before trick-or-treating can curb the amount of empty sugar calories the eat “on the road”.
Limit eating leftover candy to a few a day. Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. Enforcing moderation in sugar and fat consumption as well as incorporating some exercise into our daily lives are the best hope to battle obesity and its serious health effects. This is true everyday but can be more challenging at times when sweets are all around
Brush teeth immediately after eating candy. Substances that are high in sugar and stick to the teeth – like candy – are the worst for tooth decay. The goal is to minimize how long such food is in contact with the teeth. The recommendation is that you brush your teeth 5 to 10 minutes after eating. This is obviously difficult to do all the time. For this reason enjoying these treats at home is probably better than, for example, in school lunch.
Keep the candy stash in a central location; NOT IN BEDROOMS. This will discourage binging and make it easy to monitor consumption without being too overbearing. It is helpful if it’s kept somewhat out of sight (and smell) as well.
Tampering with Halloween candy is fortunately rare. However, you should still check collected candy and throw away anything that is soiled, torn, or not wrapped. This may also be an opportunity to discard candy that is very sticky or gummy for the sake of their teeth.
Don’t keep the candy forever. At some point it’s got to go. Pick a date to throw away any leftover candy, such as Thanksgiving, and stick with it. Likewise, you can consider passing out candy alternatives (tattoos, rings, pencils) to decrease your household contribution to the candy glut.
Practice what you preach!! Adults need to keep out of the candy bowl too. Halloween is only the “warm up” to the holiday season which is full of high calorie treats and sweets. Use Halloween as a starting point for a holiday plan to keep your family healthy and fit while enjoying the season.
“Let them eat candy”. Candy is part of the fun! Furthermore, banning treats altogether can backfire. In fact, kids are likely to more aggressively seek out banned treats than those that are allowed in limited amounts. Candy isn’t bad, you just have to know how much is too much.