Halloween is rapidly approaching, and your children are already getting excited! Halloween ranks right at the top as far as favorite holidays go. Not only do children get to put on fun costumes, but they also get to collect lots of candy. What could be better?
As fun as Halloween can be for children, it can be a challenge for parents. As a parent, how do you keep the holiday fun, but make sure that your child does not overindulge when it comes to candy? Most experts agree that the first step is setting guidelines and expectations in advance of the special night.
After trick-or-treating, have your children spread their candy on a table or the floor. You can try one of these four approaches:
Or, develop a system that works well in your home. Whichever approach you choose, make sure you let your child know what the plan is before the big night. And if it works well, stick with it every year.
Halloween does not have to scare off good nutrition habits. It just takes a little bit of planning and some dedication on your part. To help Halloween be a more healthful time, follow these tips:
One additional candy tip: Try not to reward your child's good behavior with candy or punish bad behavior by withholding candy. Use non-candy things, like a trip to the park or new crayons, to acknowledge good behavior.
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Canada's Food Guide
Dietitians of Canada
Halloween safety tips. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx. Updated October 8, 2014. Accessed March 16, 2015.
Healthy Halloween habits: Tips from parents. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/halloween_hints.html. Accessed March 16, 2015.
Last reviewed March 2015 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 3/16/2015