While parents are right to worry about their childrens safety on Halloween night there are more child pedestrian accidents on All Hallows Eve than on any other day many experts say parents should, most of all, be vigilant about how much candy their kids collect and munch on in the hours and days after their big night out.
Thats because the average child amasses between 3,500 and 7,000 calories-worth of candy on Halloween night! Just to put those figures in perspective, children aged 7 to 10 ought to consume between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day. All those treats a lot of calories from sugar in fact, eating 12 treats is like guzzling 30 packets of sugar something to keep in mind in light of alarming increases in childhood obesity, diabetes and cavities.
Still, Halloween is one of the most fun days of the year for kids as well as parents. So how you strike a balance between sensible nutrition and those treats we all love? Here are our top 5 ways:
- Eat a healthy meal before taking the kids out for trick-or-treating. A full stomach will make it less likely that theyll overeat treats on their walk or when they get home.
- And we did say walk. Avoid driving your children from location to location. If theyre going to eat a lot of candy, it will do them good to get some good old fashioned exercise.
- Offer up a little healthy treat trickery. Lets face it, none of us really liked getting apples or crackers for Halloween when we were kids, and yours will certainly be no different. Nevertheless, you can still offer up fun treats theyre sure to enjoy like glow sticks, temporary tattoos or tasty food with less sugar, like pretzels, trail mix or popcorn.
- Control consumption. Tummy aches are the number one illness during Halloween season and overeating candy is the likely cause. Once you get home, let your children choose three treats they can eat right away and pack away the rest doling out a couple of pieces a day with their school lunch or dinner for the next week or two. You can also encourage your kids to donate much of their treats to a local food bank or homeless shelter.
- Lead by example. Its hard to tell your kids to control their intake if they catch you noshing on their candy! Keep your collected treats somewhere that not even you will be tempted to dip into.
Halloween, of course, isnt just about eating. Here are 5 more practical tips as you prepare for their big evening out:
- You do the carving. If youre carving pumpkins make sure to keep knives well out of reach of children. Pass around washable markers if they want to partake in the creative fun.
- Lighting your pumpkin. Make sure your candle-lit pumpkin is placed on a flat surface away from any flammable objects. An even better option is to forego the candles altogether and use a flashlight or flameless candles.
- Dress flashy. Avoid dressing your kids in dark colors the more colorful the better. As an added precaution, attach reflective tape to their costumes, front and back.
- Dress safely. Masks are fun but not a good idea when youre walking up stairs or across intersections because they can limit vision. Child-friendly makeup is the way to go.
- Where are Felix and Fido? If you have pets, make sure theyre kept away when kids ring your doorbell. Ghouls and goblins aside, no kid wants to be frightened on Halloween.
What are your tips and tricks for a safe and healthy Halloween? Send us your suggestions in the comments section below!