Some of you may have already gone trick-or-treating this week and some of your neighborhoods may be hosting beggars night tonight; whenever the celebration occurs many parents face the Halloween dilemma of how to monitor their child’s sugar intake. In light of the holiday and the tradition of walking around your neighborhood and collecting free candy, parents should, for the sake of their child’s health, approach the situation in an appropriate manner for your child to understand.
- You may want to explain the history of this spooky holiday and how this tradition came to be. If they have already learned about it in school, ask your child to tell you what they learned.
- Designate an amount of time or a few blocks around your neighborhood that you will spend trick-or-treating. This will minimize your child’s collection and you can spend the rest of the time handing out candy to the ghosts and goblins ringing your doorbell.
- If your family includes multiple trick-or-treaters, have them share one bag while they are going door-to-door rather than collecting candy individually.
- Don’t let your child keep the candy in their bedroom or in a place they can easily access it. Tell them how often they will be allowed to have a piece.
- Offer something in exchange for all or a portion of their Halloween candy, such as doing a favorite activity, cooking their favorite healthy dinner, dismissal from a chore or money.
- Be a role model for your family by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself.
Some children may not understand why you don’t want them to eat all of the candy that the spent the evening collecting. This is a great time to discuss healthy foods and why we should eat our fruits and vegetables and not 10 mini Snickers bars or Kit-Kats. There is a wealth of resources to help teach your child on the internet, including at http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Comment below and share your tips for monitoring your child’s Halloween candy!