Five tricks for a healthier Halloween

Family
A little girl trick-or-treating on Halloween

The fright behind Halloween may wane as we age, but as lots of parent can attest to, there‚Äôs still one scary thing about the holiday: the sugar overload follows. That’s enough to make any mom or dad scream!
Can your child still have a blast without overdoing it? Dr. Vasudha Jain, co-chief resident physician at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Holmestown Road, says it’s possible. And in true Halloween spirit, she offers a few tricks to help make it happen:

  1. “At parties, healthy snacks are a lot more appealing when they’re decorated with Halloween flair,” says Dr. Jain. “Look on the Internet for creative veggie ideas, like carrot-stick witch hands or apple monster mouths.”
  2. Keep kids busy. Parties that have a lot of physical games or even dances help kids work off the extra calories they’re consuming.
  3. Send your trick-or-treater out on a full stomach. “You can better ration their candy later,” advises Dr. Jain. “Having them eat before they go out can also reduce snacking before they get home.”
  4. Invest in a smaller bag or container for your child to collect candy in. “The bigger the container, the longer they will want to stay out and collect candy because it won’t look full,” says Dr. Jain.
  5. You don’t have to give out candy. If you want to still entertain trick-or-treaters, give out non-edible but desirable prizes. Dr. Jain pointed out that this strategy not only benefits other kids, it ensures you won’t have leftover candy in your own home.

In addition to healthy eating tips, Dr. Jain advises that parents also keep safety in mind. This means checking expiration dates on candy, making sure your child trick-or-treats in a group supervised by an adult and ensuring he or she wears reflectors at night.
“Halloween is such a fun time of the year” says Dr. Jain. “It can be a safe and healthy time of the year, too.”

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