While many kids wait all year for Halloween to come, their parents dread the annual sugar overload! But there are ways to let your kids enjoy their trick-or-treating loot without overindulging.
As soon your child arrives home, sort and check goodie bags. Though tampering is rare, you should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items. Remove anything your child may have an allergy to.
What do you do with all that candy? The best advice I can give to parents who want their children to develop healthy eating habits is the same advice Ellyn Satter, a renowned nutritionist and child eating expert gives -- keep your interference to a minimum! Allow your child to manage, sort, play, and gloat over their stash! Let them indulge themselves a bit on Halloween and the day after. For most children who eat a healthy diet 363 days of the year, two days really won't make a difference! Kids may resent their parents if they start to act like the candy police.
Although there is no such thing as healthy Halloween candy, candies that contain nuts, dried fruit or dark chocolate are a little healthier than candies that contain sugar as the main ingredient. Dark chocolate is more satisfying than milk chocolate, and eating dark chocolate decreases the desire to eat additional sweet foods. Studies have shown that consumers of milk chocolate ate significantly more calories of chocolate than consumers of dark chocolate.
As for what to do with all that leftover candy purchased for trick or treaters? Throw it away or donate it! Take it to work to share with co-workers. Don’t keep it in the house! No one needs the extra sugar, and if it’s in the house, chances are it will be eaten.
To learn more about Healthy LifeWays -- Valley’s Center for Pediatric Wellness and Weight Management, or to make an appointment, please call 201-391-0846.