By Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD, LD

October is infamous for Halloween and the treats that come with it!  Kids love this time of year and their challenge is to collect the most candy they possibly can.  But the challenge for parents is controlling those loads of sweet treats on Halloween night and on the days that follow!  We all know what loads of sugar can do to our child’s energy level, not to mention their teeth and for some their weight.  Sugary, sweet treats have a way of pushing out the healthy foods that our kids should be eating so managing those treats is very important.

Here are tips to help manage the oodles of treats for both Halloween and the days that follow:

  • Feed little ones a healthy snack before they set of for trick-or-treating so they are less likely to load themselves up with candy when they get home.  Peanut butter and raisins or diced apples rolled into their favorite La Tortilla Factory tortilla or wrap is the perfect healthy snack that they can eat on the go if they are too excited to sit and eat. That goes for parents as well if handing out candy means the kids get a piece and YOU get a piece each time!
  • Make a rule that kids are not allowed to eat any candy until they have come home and you have inspected it.  This ensures safety and any allergy issues as well as provides you with the opportunity to control how much candy they eat on Halloween night.
  • Once Halloween is over and done with hide the candy!  Out-of-sight, out-of-mind for most kids.  Take control and only let them eat their treats in moderation.
  • If your kids, and that goes for us big kids too, are tempted to eat too much too often you may consider giving the candy away at work, at a group meeting or even tossing it after giving them a few days to enjoy it.
  • The goal for most kids is to fill up whatever container they have with candy.  Providing them with something smaller means less candy to deal with and as long as it is filled-up they will be just as happy.
  • Another quick tip, don’t buy your Halloween candy too early.  This may tempt you and the kids to starting eating too much candy before trick-or-treating even arrives.
  • Consider going another route other then buying candy to hand out such as: small boxes of raisins, dried fruit snacks, small bags of pretzels, packaged whole grain crackers, Rice Krispy treats, stickers, pencils, party favors, temporary tattoos or even coins.  You would be surprised what might satisfy kids besides candy!
  • If you do choose to pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters be mindful of other parents and stick to one or maybe two pieces instead of loading up each child with a handful of candy.

Happy Healthy Halloween!