Healthy Halloween Tips for Your Family
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Halloween is quickly approaching! With all the tasty treats looming in the near future, you may be worried about the amount of sugar you and your family will be consuming. We know it’s hard to avoid candy altogether, and we want you and your kids to enjoy the holiday. As the leading holistic dentist in Prescott, at Prescott Dentistry, we’re here to help you improve your oral and overall health with some healthy Halloween tips for your family.
Choose a smaller trick-or-treat container. We spend so much time thinking about the costumes that we might overlook the bags or containers that get filled with candy. This Halloween choose a smaller collection container for your child—many of us used a pillowcase as children, but it’s easy to fill up with candy fast! Making a trick-or-treat bag is a fun way to get the kids involved in this. Here are some fun ideas for bags you can make at home.
Fill them up first. What kid doesn’t want to eat their favorite candy right when it goes into their trick-or-treat bag? Having a healthy meal BEFORE your kids go trick-or-treating can reduce their temptation to snack while walking or to overindulge, because their tummies will be full.
Make a game plan. Halloween can be the perfect time to talk with kids about moderation and making smart eating choices. Plan in advance how much candy they’ll be allowed to take at each house and how much they’ll be allowed to keep and eat Halloween night. If they’re old enough, let them help decide what to do with excess candy (see below for some ideas). Encouraging them to take one piece of candy at each house will allow them to visit more houses.
Get them moving. Walking instead of driving kids from house to house can be a fun family activity while getting exercise. Set a goal of how many houses or streets you’ll visit, or compete in teams to do as many as you can. Bring a bottle of water, a flashlight, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking!
Check before they chew. Check expiration dates and inspect all candy before allowing your children to eat them. Don’t let them eat anything with questionable or unknown ingredients, especially if they have food allergies.
Dealing with the Aftermath
Afraid you’ll be left with an exorbitant amount of Halloween candy after the big day? Here are some ideas for enjoying the evening’s haul responsibly and getting rid of leftover candy:
- Let each child keep enough candy to have one or two pieces a day for a few weeks (long enough for the excitement to wear off).
- When your child asks for a piece of candy, pair it with a protein-rich snack. Protein can help curb the rapid spike in blood sugar that comes from eating candy.
- Trade their candy for tokens or coupons they can redeem for fun activities—a day at the zoo, a picnic at the park, an afternoon at the pool, or a trip to their favorite museum.
- Save the candy for something special—holiday baking, a piñata for the next birthday celebration, or Valentine’s Day treats for friends.
- Use it in an arts and crafts project.
- Use it to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
- Donate excess candy to a homeless shelter, children’s hospital, or care package program for troops overseas. This also teaches children to think of those less fortunate than themselves.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Not only can too much sugar consumed on a regular basis lead to tooth decay and eventually tooth loss, but it can also wreak havoc on our overall health. Keep in mind, following these healthy Halloween tips and reducing sugar intake is just part of keeping your family’s teeth healthy. If you want to ensure their teeth remain healthy and decay-free, be sure to practice good oral hygiene as well. This includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, as well as visiting Prescott Dentistry twice a year for cleanings. Have no fear—Halloween can be fun and healthy!