Halloween is the most candy-focused, sugar-fuelled holiday of the year. Even though you can’t take the sweets out of Halloween it’s important to remember how much sugar your kids are eating as they munch through their Halloween candies.
If your nanny or babysitter is taking your kids trick-or-treating, share these tips with her.
1. Fill Bellies
Before going trick-or-treating, feed kids a hearty snack or dinner to ensure their bellies stay full while trekking around the neighborhood. This way they will be less likely to overindulge when confronted with a tray full of treats.
2. Stay Informed
Not all Halloween candies are the same. Experiment with organic candy products this year. Many companies offer options that taste great and are better for you.
3. Choose Wisely
And controlling how much sugar kids get isn’t as important as controlling what kind of sugar they get and what form it comes in. Opt for candies that are eaten quickly – that way sugar won’t sit in the mouth for so long.
4. Set Expectations
Set ground rules beforehand. What’s allowed during trick-or-treating, when you get home and the days after? Have a plan, so it’s not a free-for-all.
5. Savor Treats
Just because kids get a lot of candy during trick-or-treating, at a party or during a holiday season, doesn’t mean that it all has to be eaten at once. Stretch the stash so everyone can enjoy their treasure for a little while longer.
6. Drink Water
Water is not only important for hydration, but also protecting your teeth. When your kids are enjoying sugary foods, give them water to wash it down. Water helps kids feel full and it will take them longer to eat the candy, meaning they may eat less of it. It also helps rinse sugar away from teeth.
7. Be a Good Role Model
Children follow in the footsteps of their parents and caregivers. Limiting your kids’ sugar intake is great, but it’ll be useless if they see you constantly slipping your handy into the candy jar. But if you make healthy choices and reduce sweets, your children are bound to do the same. At your Halloween party serve fun treats that are nutritious, such as fruit kabobs, fruit and yogurt parfaits, and fruits and vegetables with healthy and fun dips.
8. Visit the Dentist
If your child hasn’t been to the dentist in a while (or at all yet!), this is a great time to make an appointment — while candy is on the brain. The earlier dental care is started, the less likely serious problems are to emerge.
9. Don’t Stress
Childhood and experiences like trick-or-treating are meant to be enjoyed. A few days a year of indulging in sweets will not cause long-term damage to your child’s health. Instead make sure that healthy choices are made the majority of the time and that they stay active.