With the chance to dress up in costume and stock up on sweets, Halloween is the highlight of the year for many kids.
But since it’s high season for candy, it also can be a frustrating time for parents who encourage kids to eat healthy foods and make sweets a limited part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
On the one hand, you want to let your kids indulge and enjoy the holiday. On the other, you don’t want to undermine all the work you do the rest of the year to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. And you don’t want to confuse kids with mixed messages.
Kids who generally eat just a couple pieces and save the rest might be trusted to decide how much to eat. But, if your child tends to overdo it, consider setting limits by using your best judgment given what you know about your child’s personality and eating habits. Just be sure to let your kids know the limits ahead of time and the reasons for them.
Here are 7 strategies to keep your kids from going overboard on Halloween treats.
- Allow your kids to indulge in some treats right after trick-or-treating. Then, limit your kids to a certain number of pieces each day.
- Put the candy stash out of reach and out of sight. That way, your kids have to ask for it — that is, if they remember that it’s there!
- Tell them about the Halloween Pumpkin that will come by the house and leave a toy in place of the bag of candy.
- Consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges that the candy belongs to your child and provides a treat in the form of a little spending money.
- Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself. To help avoid temptation, buy your candy at the last minute and get rid of any leftovers.
- Encourage your kids to share their candy with friends. Not only does it thin out the candy supply, it enforces sharing.
- Donate the candy to your local food bank or to troops overseas. It’s a great lesson in giving and helping others in need.
Remember, Halloween, like other holidays, is a single day on the calendar. If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, it will have a more lasting impact than a few days of overindulgence.
(c) 2016. Article adapted from The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth(R). Used under license.