Trick or Treat!! It’s that time of year where kids and candy become one. After an entertaining evening of trick or treating, you KNOW there’s going to be more high fructose than any one child should consume, so what do you do with the collected bounty?

We’ve got some tips to help with the post-Halloween candy craze.

Start by making sure the kids eat dinner or a healthy snack before they head out to collect candy. If they start off with a full tummy they’ll be less likely to eat on the run, or want to fill up with candy when they return home. 

If your child is young enough to be accompanied while he or she is out, make sure they don’t eat anything that you haven’t checked.

Once the kiddos are home, you can inspect your child’s candy for anything suspicious.

Also check ingredients if your child has any food allergies. Look for choking hazards, including hard candy and chewing gum, if you have a very young child.

Throw out anything that looks like its been tampered with, or if there’s something about it that makes you feel uncomfortable. Trust your gut instincts!

The question now becomes, to eat or not to eat a boatload of candy?

Obviously, there needs to be some restraint. A candy hangover or upset stomach can ruin a good time the night before.

Kids respond to treats differently, if your child normally eats a few pieces and saves the rest, he might be trusted to decide how much to eat. But if your child tends to overdo it, consider setting limits.

A couple of ideas to avoid candy overload are:

Let your child pick out his or her favorite candy.

Divvy those up into 2 or 3 pieces each.

Put the divided candy into a small paper sack or baggy.

Allow your child those 2 or 3 pieces a day for a week or so.

You can also give away the extra candy to a food bank or homeless shelter. It’s not very high in nutrition, but can be used as an occasional treat for youngsters and adults.

You can also offer to let them trade in the extra candy for something else they might like, like a trip to the movies, or a small toy, a book etc.

Keep the candy out of site. Having the candy in an easy to see and reach location is just too tempting for most children (and adults!)

Because it’s a holiday, some of the regular rules for eating often get relaxed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is in moderation.

Childhood obesity is a problem and once the candy machine starts it’s often hard to stop it. Limiting how much candy your child eats will help in the long run.

If your child is overweight, remember not to tell your child they can’t have the candy because “they are on a diet”, or “it will make them fatter.” Instead remind them that it’s not high in nutrition, or it’s not part of the family’s eating plan. Try to be positive, get creative and offer other suggestions that can help make the day a special treat for your child.