As trick or treater embark on their candy-filled journeys tonight, it is our jobs as adults to instill good habits in them and ensure we keep them healthy. Almost every child in the USA will have candy on Halloween, and about half of the adults will eat some. That compares to 24% of all adults and kids who have candy on a typical day. Another spooky fact: About 4% of all candy consumed in this country occurs today.
Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s Tips for a Health(ier) Halloween:
- While kids are enjoying some Halloween candy, cut back on all other sugary foods and drinks in their diets, such as fruit juices, cookies, and cereal.
- Talk to your kids about the plan for all the Halloween candy. How many they are allowed a day.
- Take candy and put it in a place where they don’t have easy access to it.
- Take a longer walk tonight during the trick or treating, the extra exercise will be good for everyone in the family!
- On Halloween evening, serve a healthy meal to your kids. This ensures that they have plenty of energy for the walk and makes them less likely to snack on candy.
- Most kids get more candy than they really like and should only keep their favorites and give the rest away.
- Practice the “Rule of One.” When it comes to high-calorie foods, you won’t go wrong if you allow one small treat a day. That might be a fun-sized candy bar. Portion control is essential with all candy. Organize their favorite candy into 100-calorie portions and keep it to that amount per day.
- Let kids enjoy gum. Bubble gum is a favorite because it’s more elastic and only 5 to 15 calories apiece and keeps kids’ mouths busy for longer.
- Get the Halloween candy out of the house after a week or two. No need to hold on to unhealthy snacks.
As you might have seen in the news, a woman in North Dakota is planning on handing the following letter out to trick-or-treaters tonight in an effort to curb childhood obesity. She explained that, instead of candy, she will hand out letters to children that she considers obese in order to chastise parents to “step up” and end “unhealthy eating habits.” Here is a copy of the letter:
Readers: Do you feel she is doing a noble act? What are the best ways you keep your family healthy during Halloween?