As Halloween nears, let’s remember to have safe and healthy fun. According to the National Confectioners’ Association, the amount of Halloween candy that kids are expected to eat this year contains about 3 cups of added sugar.
That’s over 2,300 calories. Kids would have to walk about 50 miles in order to burn off the calories from all of that sugar.
That’s a lot of trick-or-treating!
Teaching kids to take responsibility for how much candy they eat is an important lesson and adult supervision is strongly encouraged during this life lesson. For example, my 2-year-old nephew wants to be Superman for Halloween. We talked about how Superman likes candy too, but he needs to eat healthy meals to stay so strong.
This works for princesses, monsters, ghosts, and even Olaf. Parents have some great ideas on how to monitor the amount of candy their children are eating.
Here are some of their tips:
1. Feed the child a good, healthy meal prior to trick-or-treating so they are less tempted to snack on treats.
2. Let the child know ahead of time the guidelines or limits on candy and give reasons for these limits. Better yet, allow the child to help you to determine what these guidelines will be.
3. After allowing the child to indulge a bit on some treats directly following trick-or-treating, limit the number of pieces of candy the child can have each day.
4. Keep the candy stash out of reach and out of sight. Odds are that they won’t forget about it, but they will need to ask for your help to get it.
5. Serve each treat with something healthy like a glass of milk or a piece of fruit.
6. Encourage sharing the candy with siblings, friends and parents too.
7. Ensure that all caregivers, babysitters and Grandma are aware of the candy guidelines you have set.
8. Most of all, be a role model by enjoying Halloween candy in moderation yourself.
Also, remember that Halloween comes around only once a year. If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, that will have a longer lasting impact than a few days of overindulgence on candy. So enjoy some candy and have a very happy, healthy Halloween.
Here’s to a healthier you!
For more information, call Stephanie at the Purdue Extension Kosciusko County office at (574) 372-2340, or email at [email protected]