How to handle the candy bounty from an evening of trick or treating can prove to be a little “tricky” for health conscious parents.
Should you put limits on how much candy you allow your child to eat or let them eat all they want? There isn’t a one-size fits all answer to this question. A lot depends on how well you know your child’s personality and tendencies as well as their general health.
If your little one typically limits his or her eating – say a piece or two of candy when they have more to choose from- then you might be able to trust them to do the same after trick or treating. If your child tends to overdo sweets in general, they might have trouble controlling their candy intake.
To help parents find a way to keep their children happy, but also make healthy choices this Halloween, dietitian Nasrin Sinichi, MS, RD/LD, offers these tips.
Start by serving a nourishing meal before they leave the house so they're not hungry when the candy starts coming in.
Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason.
Have a plan before they head out for the festivities. Talk with your child about how the candy will be stored and dealt out. Involving them in the decision-making may help them keep on track.
Encourage your kids to be mindful of the amount of candy and snacks eaten and to stop before they feel full or sick.
If you’re child is overweight and you’ve been working together to help them reach a healthier weight, a boatload of candy can present a problem. You might consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little spending money. They still get to enjoy Halloween with their friends, have a few pieces of candy and learn about making different choices.
Another alternative is trading in their candy for something else they want. A video game, book, toy or trip to an entertainment area may appeal to them more than the candy. Again, they still get to choose a few favorite pieces of candy, but the rest is out of the house.
If you choose to limit your child’s candy intake over days or weeks, know how much has been collected and store it somewhere other than his or her room. It’s just too tempting!
Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies and small toys.
Check your child’s candy before it’s given out. Throw it away immediately if you find:
· An unusual appearance or discoloration
· Tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers
· Spoiled or unwrapped items
· Any piece that looks like it could be a drug disguised as candy.
Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them.
When in doubt, throw it out.
Some children have health issues that candy can make worse. Children with diabetes, for instance, may have to follow strict guidelines as to how much candy they can have, if any. If your child has a health condition that could be exacerbated by a spike in blood sugar, definitely talk to your doctor for guidance on how to handle Halloween treats.
And finally, don’t forget to set a good example! Kids aren’t the only ones enticed by candy. Setting limits on how much candy your child gets, then dipping into the candy bag more often than not makes for “do as I say, not as I do” confusion.
The keys to not letting a candy bounty get out of control are moderation, healthy choices, limits and common sense. Celebrating the tradition of Halloween can still be great fun without a candy hangover. Happy Halloween to everyone!
Story source: http://www.hillcrestsouth.com/news/parents-tips-managing-halloween-candy-overload