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How to Have a Healthy Halloween

How to Have a Healthy Halloween

Piles and piles of candy. It’s what your children are dreaming about, and as Halloween approaches, it’s what most parents are dreading. It’s not that we begrudge our children some fun or even a little indulgent treat feasting. The problem is we spend most of the year doing our best to make sure they eat right, and allowing them to binge on all that candy seems counterintuitive.

Let’s get real. Do you want to be the parent that passes out pencils instead of candy? Have you trained your child on what to do if stickers are dropped in their bag instead of Snickers? Me neither. But I also remember what last year was like and I have no intention of letting my toddler eat several pounds of candy over the next month. So I’ve compiled some easy parent tips on how to make your Halloween healthier without ruining the reason for the season.


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  1. Eat Before You Treat

    Make sure everyone eats a sensible and full meal before going out to trick or treat. This will cut down on how much candy is eaten once you get back home.

  2. Relax, Enjoy the Night

    Be flexible about the candy intake on Halloween but talk with your children about what’s left and what will happen to it.

  3. Bribe Them

    Offer to pay for their leftover candy. This acknowledges that the candy belongs to them and that they have a choice in the matter. For younger children, offer a toy in lieu of money or skip money all together and offer a “treat” of another kind instead. The form it takes is unimportant but they should feel they are getting the better end of the bargain.

  4. Donate It

    If your children are older (this likely won’t work with toddlers) ask them to consider donating some of their candy. There are several local churches that will be accepting donations of extra candy and charities like Operation Gratitude will send your extra candy to our military overseas.

  5. Be a Good Example

    Hold off on buying the candy so it’s not sitting around the house (or put it up so it’s out of sight). Watch your own intake of the sweet stuff because your children will be watching. You never know, maybe they’ll follow suit.

[box type=”1″ class=”rounded-5 shadow” width=”500″] What do you do to keep the blood-sugar levels down this time of year? Share your bag of tricks in our comment section and help your fellow Rocket City Moms (and Dads) out.[/box]

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View Comments (3)
  • Last year, our orthodontist was doing a “candy buy back” to send to the troops. We laughed and wondered if he was sending some toothbrushes too!

    I think some children will eat it “JUST BECAUSE IT IS THEIR’s” and not because they like the particular candy. When candy choices abound, I am trying to encourage mine to just pick up the type they really like, not a big handful (often happens at places like the Madison Street fair, where people have candy out for the taking). I think being thoughtful about what they truly like is good.

    Giving choices of what to do with the extra candy is great!

    Finding a fun way to incorporate a small amount of the other candies into a healthier diet is good too, like adding M&M’s or other small candies to a yummy, healthy trail mix.

    Don’t forget the breakfast the following day!

    I did nutrition training at a daycare the day AFTER Halloween. We had a very comical time discussing some of the issues regarding candy and children’s behavior, as they had just lived thru the worst candy related day of their work year.

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