A Healthy Halloween for Kids (and Adults)
Halloween is a fun time of year for everyone, young or old. Dressing up as your favourite character, lots of parties and trick-or-treating. The problem for parents is deciding what to do with those big trick-or-treat bags full of candy and sweet treats. With childhood obesity on the rise, loading up on all that sugar isn't a great idea.
Here are some tips to help control your children's consumption of treats:
• Serve your kids a healthy snack such as a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit before trick-or-treating. If they aren't hungry, your kids will be less likely to overeat candy when they get home.
• Cut down on the number of treats your child can collect by limiting their trick-or-treat route. Keep it to your own street only.
• Let your children enjoy some of their Halloween candy in moderation when they have finished trick-or-treating -- after you have inspected the treats for safety. Count out a number of pieces that they can consume and put the rest away.
• Put all of the extra treats into a high cabinet in your kitchen or pantry. Out of sight is out of mind, and you can control how many treats your kids get to eat over the next few days.
• Do not allow your kids to store bags of candy in their rooms.
• Don’t buy Halloween candy early. You will tempt yourself and your kids to eat too much before the trick-or-treating even starts.
• Skip the Halloween candy sale on November 1. Cheap bags of candy sounds like a good buy, but you don't need the sugar and calories.
• Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself. To help avoid temptation, buy your candy at the last minute and get rid of any leftovers.
• Never use candy as a child’s snack in their lunches. Most Halloween candy is made of simple sugar which provides no nutritional value, is quick digesting, will cause cravings for more sugar and is a poor source of sustaining fuel.
• Be aware of calories! Each Halloween treat contains approximately 50 calories. It may seem like a harmless number of calories but mindless munching can accumulate to hundreds of calories.
Written By: Jaclyn Pritchard, Registered Dietitian
DISCLAIMER: This information is for entertainment purposes only. The recommendations may not work for you, and should not take the place of the recommendations made by your own medical personnel. We are not responsible for the outcomes of any recommendations. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet without the supervision of your doctor/dietitian. For more information, please see a Registered Dietitian in your area. To find one, visit dietitians.ca.