Halloween Candy – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Nutrition

Halloween Candy – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

One of the most anticipated days of the year for any kid is Halloween. And rightfully so, with the sheer bounty of sugary, chocolatey and decadent sweets they get in abundance. There are a few times of year when easing up on any sugar restriction is warranted, and Halloween is definitely one of them.

It can be tempting for parents, too, when there are huge amounts of candy within reach. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to prevent a massive sugar overload and also help kids make smarter choices when it comes to their candy picks.

Go for the Chocolate and Nuts
Assuming there are no nut allergies, this is probably the most preferred Halloween candy due to the protein and fiber that are found in nuts. This choice is even better if it’s dark chocolate, which actually provides antioxidants.

Avoid the Sticky, Gummy Candy
The American Dental Association has long advised kids to not overdue the sticky kind of candy that’s either found in gummies, taffy, caramel, etc. that just sticks to your teeth. That’s the hardest to remove and the one that adheres the longest.

Hard Candy is Questionable
Dentists also consider hard candy to be an oral offender, again, due to the fact that it takes longer for them to eat, and forces the sugar to just linger on and around your teeth.

But if you’re OK to let your kids (and you too!) indulge a little bit and enjoy their favorite candy, here are a few tips on managing the candy inventory once it has been collected:

  • Give Kids Five  – On the night of Halloween, after kids have dumped out their candy and assessed their loot, give kids the choice to pick their five favorites to consume and stash the rest for later.
  • Provide Healthy Alternatives  – A lot of times, kids rush out the door to trick-or-treat without having a proper dinner. They’ll likely be hungry from all the walking and collecting, so when you get home, have some healthier options on hand so they nourish with real food and not just candy.
  • Donate to Causes – Set aside a portion of their overall bounty that you can all donate to charity. A lot of local dentist office accept candy donations, as do charities like Operation Gratitude, where candy is sent to troops overseas.
  • Brush Well – It goes without saying that on Halloween evening, everyone who consumed candy and chocolate should undergo a double (or even triple) brushing session to get rid of all that sugar.

Halloween is a very fun night for kids. And don’t forget, walking door-to-door is great exercise for everyone, as well as being just plain fun. With a little flexibility and a lot of brushing, everyone can truly enjoy the holiday.

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