Childhood obesity continues to a major problem in the United States, this Halloween, adopt these healthy trick-or-treating strategies and choose to hand out treats that help kids understand the importance of healthy habits. Teach them the benefits of making smart choices like selecting nutrient-dense foods, and getting plenty of physical activity and how these choices will help them maintain health into adulthood. Using these simple strategies will help children stay safe and healthy this Halloween.
Avoid snacking. Help kids avoid snacking while trick-or-treating, which can lead to inadvertent overeating. Don’t send them on an empty stomach, instead, plan a healthy dinner to be served before the festivities. Try this simple recipe for No-Bake macaroni and cheese from Eating Well.
Set smart goals. Filling the treat bag to the top is the goal of any self-respecting child on Halloween, help them be realistic by implementing these simple strategies.
- Set limits. Limit the amount of candy brought in by restricting the houses your children can visit to a two or three block radius. This strategy ensures the treats will most likely come from neighbors and friends, and the amount of treats will be manageable.
- Size matters. The actual bags that children carry to fill with treats, should be appropriate to their size and age. While older kids can physically manage larger sized bags, avoid excessively large containers like pillow cases or plastic garbage bags. The smaller bag strategy makes sure the amount of treats each child brings home is a manageable amount.
- Strike a deal. If your child has entirely too much candy after trick-or-treating, arrange a buyout. Pay the child a nickel or dime for each treat sold, and let them earn money towards a toy or game they want to buy.
Make sure there are no tricks in the treats. Children should be instructed to wait to consume the treats until they have been thoroughly inspected by a parent or other responsible adult. Those responsible for inspecting the treats should inspect that each piece remains in the original packaging, and is free from signs of tampering like tears or pinholes. Discard any candy that appears to be tampered with or that is discolored.
Looking for healthy Halloween treat alternatives? Check out this article which delivers many ideas, both edible and inedible.