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Halloween: Let Them Eat Candy—But How Much?
Halloween: A Candy Celebration
A Candy Plan
- Let your child pick 10 favorite pieces to keep. Donate the rest of the candy to a senior citizen center, shelter, or some other charitable organization.
- Let your child trade their candy for a prize such as a toy, book, or a fun event.
- Let your child pick out two or three pieces of candy to have each day. You will probably have to deal with a little whining and begging in the first few days, but stick to your guidelines.
- Let your child pick a set amount of candy for the week. Once the week's allotment is gone, do not let your child fish back in the bag for more.
Some Additional Tips
- Serve kids a healthy dinner before trick-or-treating. Make sure the meal includes food that they like. This way, they will be full and less tempted to fill up on candy.
- Offer trick-or-treaters something other than candy. Although it is tempting to give a piece of fruit, like an apple, this is not a good idea. Fruit is difficult for a parent to check for tampering. Instead, give them colorful pencils, stickers, or large erasers.
- Set guidelines about how much candy your children can have. Consider limiting the number of houses they go to, or how much time they can spend in a particular place. Have a set number of days that candy can remain in the house before it gets thrown out. Determine how much candy they can have each day or each week.
- Children should not snack while they are trick-or-treating. Make sure your children understand that you need to check all the treats at home before any are eaten.
- Watch for signs of tampering. These include small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.
- Parents of young children should get rid of choking hazards. These include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
Canada's Food Guide http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Halloween safety tips. American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx. Updated October 30, 2012. Accessed June 17, 2013.
Healthy Halloween habits: Tips from parents. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition%5Fcenter/healthy%5Feating/halloween%5Fhints.html. Updated October 2011. Accessed June 17, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 06/17/2013