Halloween: Let Them Eat Candy—But How Much?
by Mary Calvagna, MS
Halloween: A Candy Celebration
Halloween is rapidly approaching, and the kids 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 pillowcases full of candy. What could be better?
As fun as Halloween can be for kids, it can be a challenge for parents. As a parent, how do you keep the holiday fun, but make sure that your child do not overdo it when it comes to candy. Most experts agree that the first step is setting guidelines in advance of the special night.
A Candy Plan
After trick-or-treating, have your children spread their candy on a table or the floor. You can try one of these three 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.
Some Additional Tips TOP
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, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides some 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.
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Dietetic Association
Canada's Food Guide
Dietitians of Canada
Halloween safety tips. American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/octhalloween.cfm. Accessed April 7, 2011.
Last reviewed April 2011 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 4/7/2011