Posted on October 28, 2012 By Hope Gillette
Let’s admit it: for most children, Halloween is all about the candy. Dressing up in a fun costume and wandering the neighborhood with family and friends is just a perk for what will otherwise be a night laced with candy-induced dreams. However, a healthy Halloween is still possible!
For the parent who wants to provide a healthier experience on Halloween, there are some great options which will keep the night fun without disappointing the ghosts, witches and wizards who come to the door. For other parents looking to manage a child’s candy intake, there are some tried-and-true tricks to keep sugar highs at bay.
Managing a child’s candy intake on Halloween
Managing a child’s candy intake can be as simple as portioning out a daily ration from the Halloween candy bowl. You could even restrict candy intake further, picking on day of the week for the treat.
These are some other creative ways to keep candy intake to a minimum:
Make children ask for candy: In addition to rationing out candy, making children ask for it can be a good way to moderate how much is consumed. Place the candy out of sight and tell your child there is a limit on how much can be had daily. Only give out the candy when your child asks for it. Most parents find the candy gets forgotten about when it’s not directly in the line of sight.
Keep candy in the refrigerator: Keeping candy in the refrigerator will keep it fresh, but most children find the candy is more difficult to chew when it is cold. If they want it, they will have to wait for it to warm to room temperature. Remembering to pull it out ahead of time can greatly reduce the amount children request sugary treats.
Make children eat something healthy, too: To temper the amount of sugar that comes with Halloween candy snacking, parents are urged to align candy allotment with another meal or with a healthy snack. While this doesn’t eliminate the candy consumption, it does associate healthy foods with snacking, too.
Make it a business: If you think your child has an entrepreneur spirit, propose saving the candy for a few days and then selling it in a yard sale. Funds can be re-invested in something they’ve been asking for or donated to their local charity.
A healthy Halloween
Small toys make a great alternative to candy for parents who want to provide a healthier Halloween
The flip side of the coin for parents is how to make it a healthy Halloween andgive out healthy alternatives to candy. Most people think of vegetable bags and rice cakes when they think of healthy snacks, but don’t chase kids away with such undesirable items.
Pediatric Safety recommends some fun alternatives to Halloween candy.
- Fake tattoos
- Small toys
- Packs of sugar-free gum
- Packs of hot chocolate
- Sweet treats like trail mix
- Small jump ropes
- Art supplies like crayons or chalk
Halloween general safety
While keeping snacks regulated in order to have a healthy Halloween is important, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) remind parents general safety is also important.
Children who are heading out for the night should;
- Wear visible costumes
- Never visit unlit houses
- Avoid walking near lit candles or torches (fire hazard for flammable costumes)
- Avoid homemade treats
- Use reflective tape on shoes and candy bags
- Keep accessories such as knives and swords soft to prevent injury if a child falls