Kids love the idea of dressing up in Halloween costumes, but they are more interested in getting a barrage of sweets in their little Halloween treat bags after the end of a long night of trick-or-treating. Halloween is a holiday many children wait for all year long.
1. Candy is the Main Attraction
However, parents have to be extra careful when monitoring their children’s Halloween sweet consumption. Candy is the main feature of this holiday, and with it comes potential health concerns. Consuming too much candy is never good for a child’s health.
Parents should encourage children to limit their consumption of candy. Instead of eating all the sweets collected on Halloween night, parents should encourage children to share with others, perhaps those less fortunate.
2. Talk to Kids before Halloween
Kids go out to enjoy perusing the neighborhood with their friends and family on Halloween night. However, parents should not wait for Halloween to speak to their children about healthy habits. And you don’t want to send mixed messages to your children on Halloween.
Parents should oversee the distribution of sweets on Halloween. Decide how many houses your child will visit and how much candy is enough. In other words, parents should set certain limitations so kids don’t go overboard with the treats that they collect.
3. After Halloween
After the Halloween night, parents should take a look at the amount of candy that their son or daughter has collected. Put away some of those sweets in a place where it is out of sight and hard for your child to reach. That means the child has to ask for them. And if the child doesn’t see the sweets, then he or she may eventually forget about them.
Parents can also place limitations on how much candy is consumed while ensuring that the child gets something healthy alongside. This will help to show your son or daughter a healthy balance.
For example, a parent can have their child choose one or two sweets, but only under the condition that the child drinks a healthy glass of low-fat milk, too.
Make sure you hide the candy in a secretive place where the child won’t find it. If your child is clever or sees where you are hiding the candy, then he or she might go into your secret place when you are not looking.
4. Get the Caregiver on Board
If your child is staying with a caregiver at any time, such as a grandmother or babysitter, make sure that they know your intentions with regard to candy consumption for your child. Take time to explain, and make sure they respect your wishes and carry out your plan the same way you would. Children know how to manipulate others so don’t underestimate them.
5. Other Tempting “Treats”
Parents can give the kids toys that look like candy. This alternative works great for small kids. Feed your children before they go out trick or treating. That way, they are full and probably not interested in snacking while they are out. Get rid of candy with bright colors. Let the child know why they have limitations. Remind the children that they can have more candy later, if they don’t consume a lot now.
Use your best judgment for each child, as they all have different personalities and eating habits. Prior to the trick or treat event, you should not only make sure that they eat, but that the meal is healthy.
6. Separating the Stash
If your child is obese, then parents should curtail the Halloween candy stash. Offer to buy back some or all of the Halloween candies that the child collected. A child often sees it as a treat to sell candy for money. To help the child avoid the temptation of eating too much candy, parents could eat one or two pieces to exemplify moderation to their son or daughter. Parents can also replace candy or junk food with healthier options:
- A small box of raisins
- A small bag of pretzels
- Trail mix
- Sugar-free gum
- A bowl of their favorite cereal
When your child returns home from their Halloween expedition, put their collection in two piles. Place candies that you would like them to keep in one pile, and put the candies that you don’t want them to eat in the other pile. Encourage your son or daughter to make a candy donation to a children’s hospital, food pantry, or senior citizen home.
And remember, Halloween is just one day of the year. Practice healthy habits in your home throughout the year and your children will adapt to it, whether it is trick or treating time or not.