While there are several positive Halloween treats to hand out on the 31st that don’t encourage cavities and dental decay, what to do with the pillowcase full of treats your little ones bring home from a night of Trick-or-Treating?
The excitement of going door-to-door in a quest for the ultimate candy- amount, size and quality, can be exhilarating for your children, the sugar high can leave more residue than sticky fingers and blood sugar crash. Having limits in place for your children now can actually help them establish healthy dental habits for their life. Almost all children love candy, however, as the parent, you have the benefit of setting standards in place to help them regulate good and bad health practices.
You can be an advocate of health to your neighborhood and community by passing out non-candy related items such as (but not limited to, use your imagination with your kids!):
- Glow sticks are very affordable, popular and helpful to kids
- Fake/plastic bugs and animals
- Stickers/Fake tattoos
On the Homefront
When it comes to your children and the loot of candy they bring home, no parent wants to see their faces as you slide that bag into the trash. Instead of letting them gorge or eliminating their sugary treasures, strike a healthy compromise: make a game and let them choose their top 10 candies. Put those “winning” choices aside and set up guidelines for the time and frequency for devouring those goodies. Find healthy times to eat treats that do not leave the sugary residue on their teeth for long periods of time (bedtime, before school, etc). Having “treat times” can be a positive experience as children look forward to candy AND non-candy items as opposed to constant expectation for rewards and entitlement.