Halloween is just around the corner, and with preparation, there's no need to be spooked by your children's candy consumption this year. Ensure a happy and healthy Halloween with these tips.
The Trick Is to Enjoy the Treat!
Halloween is a great time to reiterate the importance of moderation to your child. Explain that you're going to spread the candy out over a period of time and discuss beforehand when and how much candy your child will enjoy in a day. This agreed upon "treat schedule" will make the day after Halloween easier for everyone.
After trick or treating, have your child make a pile of personal favorites to enjoy in moderation. Agree that the rest can be donated to a local shelter or sent in a care package to those serving overseas.
No Need for Tricks with Delicious and Healthy Treats
It's easier than ever to find Halloween treats to make kids happy while providing a health benefit. Grocery store shelves are stocked with kid-friendly favorites containing whole grains, extra vitamin C, 100-percent fruit juice and added fiber.
This year, consider mixing up the candy bowl with some of these items that kids will enjoy and you can feel good about serving. All of these items are available in easy to distribute snack-size packages, too.
- Whole-grain cheddar flavored crackers
- Fruit snacks made with 100-percent fruit with added vitamin C
- Fruit leathers made with 100-percent fruit
- Sugar-free gum
- Animal-shaped graham crackers made without trans fat
- Mini rice cereal treat bars
- Cereal bars made with real fruit
- Individual fruit cups
- Mini 100-percent fruit juice boxes
- Low-fat pudding cups
- Baked, unsalted bags of pretzels
Remember to read the labels when buying these snacks to be sure they are smart choices. For example, check to see that fruit snacks, fruit leathers, cereal bars and juice boxes are made with 100-percent real fruit; animal crackers are made without trans fats and that cheddar crackers are made with whole grains. If possible, avoid snacks containing nuts so children with nut allergies can have a happy Halloween, too.
When in doubt, non-food handouts, such as Halloween pencils, pens, stickers, tattoos and spider rings, are another option for your trick-or-treaters. And if you just can’t resist handing out candy, opt for bite-sized candies. For more tips on improving your family's diet during holidays and all year round, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist.