Halloween Tricks: Healthy Alternatives and Portion Control Tips

by , Jessica DeCostole, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, , ,
October 31, 2018

Trick-or-treating is one of the most fun times of the year for kids and parents alike. However, one caveat to the fun can be the masses of sugary treats kids have at their fingertips.

With childhood obesity affecting about 18.5 percent of children and teens in the U.S., it’s smart to consider ways for kids to consume less sugar during and after trick-or-treating. Use this list of alternatives to make your Halloween handouts a little healthier and find tips to manage how much candy your children are taking home and consuming.

With childhood obesity rates around 18.5 percent in the U.S., it’s important to monitor the types of #Halloween candy you give out and how much your children are taking home, via @MedStarHealth http://bit.ly/2CV0aUG.

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Healthier Candy Alternatives

Start with candy that includes less sugar or choose alternatives that substitute fruit for sugar. Or better yet, non-food items have no sugar at all and can surprise kids who are used to receiving candy at Halloween. Some fun options include:

  • Bubbles
  • Crayons
  • Glow bracelets
  • LED light up rings
  • Mini packs of play dough
  • Plastic spider rings
  • Stamps
  • Vampire teeth

You tell us: Do you give out fun, healthy items on #Halloween? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook by tagging @MedStarHealth.

How to Manage Portions

While you can decide to give out healthier treats, you can’t change how your neighbors celebrate Halloween. As a result, it’s important to manage how much candy your child takes home (or keeps) and the amount they eat each day.

I suggest creating a half-tub rule for your children. If they carry a bag or basket, allow them to fill it only halfway with treats. In the coming days and weeks, store their candy so they must ask you before eating it. I suggest allowing them to eat one to two small pieces of candy per day.

While you and your child are out trick-or-treating, consider making a goal to go through as many neighborhoods as possible. The more you walk, the more calories you burn, which is a great way to cut the extra calories your child will be consuming–at least over the next few days.

Whether you’re giving out candy or accompanying your children while they trick-or-treat, try to strike a healthy balance during the holiday fun.

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Category: Eating Healthy     Tags: Child NutritionWellness