Halloween is a great time of year for both kids and adults. Parents spend time decorating the house so it can be the scariest on the block, while kids fantasize about being their favorite superhero or princess. And of course there is the candy. Who could forget? Today, more than ever, Halloween candy sits out on store shelves for long periods of time making the desire to overindulge on candy even stronger. Here are a few tips to help limit the amount of candy your child gets this Halloween, without being the meanest parent on the block. These tips may even be helpful for parent who can’t seem to keep their hand out of the candy bowl!
- Don’t buy your Halloween candy too early. Having the candy sit in the house will be a constant temptation to everyone in the house. If you do buy candy ahead of time put it in a place where your children can’t find it. Also buy what you need so there is not a lot extra after Halloween.
- Provide a game or toy instead of candy at your house. Children will enjoy this longer than a piece of candy.
- Have your children eat a meal or snack before trick or treating so they are not hungry. If you will be out for a long time, bring a snack in case the child gets hungry so candy isn’t the only food available to eat.
- Before going out to trick or treat, discuss with your children how much candy they will be allowed to eat when they get back. This way there are no surprises and children will feel part of the decision making process. When you return home have the kids separate the candy into their favorite pieces and not so favorite ones. Allow the kids to have some from each pile based on the amount you decided ahead of time.
- When your child does eat a piece of candy, have them eat it in one sitting. If they can’t finish the piece then save it for later. You don’t want them to be chewing on it for a long period of time in order to protect their teeth. Make sure they are brushing their teeth after!
Jacqueline Minichiello, MS, RD, LDN
Jackie is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition from Tufts University. She has a passion for cooking, food and physical activity.