It’s that exciting time of year when children dress up in costumes, go Trick-or-Treating, and eat as much candy as they want, right? With childhood obesity rates climbing, it is important to be mindful of how much candy children consume.
On average, each child accumulates 3,500-7,000 calories worth of sugar-filled Halloween candy while Trick-or-Treating, according to Time Magazine. This is extreme considering the average calorie consumption for an adult is 2,000 calories per day.
Good news! You can still enjoy this fun holiday without over-doing it. Your body will thank you, we promise. Here are 5 “Halloween Hacks” to help you and your family stay healthy:
- Eat before you go. Provide a well-balanced, nutritious meal before Trick-or-Treating to avoid over-eating later.
- Create tradition. Carefully go through the candy with your child and throw out anything that may pose a risk, such as hard candy that could cause choking or unwrapped food. Next, allow the kids to choose 4-5 pieces to enjoy for the night. The next day, give them an option to pick a few pieces to eat throughout the day or trade them at the end of the day for a new book or toy.
- Trick-or-Treating = Exercise. Instead of driving your child from house to house, walk! Parents can even encourage siblings or friends to wear a Fitbit or pedometer for friendly competition.
- Give it away. When your child gets back from Trick-or-Treating, have them make two piles. One for their favorite candy to keep, and one pile to give away to a local senior center, food pantry, Ronald McDonald House, or local children’s hospital.
- Have a plan. Be open with your children about the dangers of sugar to their bodies. Explain the importance of eating in moderation, and they will be more likely to comply with healthier choices.