Halloween can be a nightmare for parents who are concerned about their kids’ health. The most important thing to remember is that this holiday needs to be FUN! There’s no need to stress out about your kid’s sugar overload if you’ve trained him or her to have a healthy relationship with food.
Here are a few ideas from Natalie, a nutritionist and seasoned mom, about how to take the worry out of the witchcraft and enjoy Halloween with your kids.
First, don’t waste calories on candy nobody likes! “On Halloween, we would always donate the hard candy to the organizations that donated to active duty military,” Natalie says. There’s no sense in hanging on to those weird strawberry candies for months. If your kids don’t like it, get it out of the house!
Once the candy’s in the house, moderate it! Natalie’s advice is to make a piece of candy a special treat during the day. “I am a very moderation-type parent and have always allowed my kids to have one sweet treat per day. They could choose whatever they wanted but they only got one serving every day.”
Something you DON’T want to do is demonize sweets or take them away from your kids. This has become a popular tradition among fearful parents, with products like the “Switch Witch” emerging to eliminate candy from pantries. Forbidding treats entirely can lead to some unhealthy consequences, unfortunately. “I think once we start to restrict certain foods, then kids feel guilty when they do have them and could start an unhealthy long-term relationship with food,” Natalie says.
Finally, make sure that your family gets involved with the holiday in ways that don’t just involve treats. “I think we also need to teach kids to learn to enjoy the festivities for more than just the food (games, friends, activities, dress-up, etc.)” concludes Natalie. Take advantage of neighborhood parties and make Halloween memorable for your children. Be sure to take lots of pictures!
Hopefully these tips help you out. Have a great Halloween and call us with questions or for more information!