Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Managing Consumption of Sweet Treats at Halloween

Managing Consumption of Sweet Treats at Halloween

Get ready to see plenty of pumpkins, princesses, zombies and witches on Halloween this year. The National Retail Federation’s Top Costume Survey shows that adults and children are leaning toward traditional selections in 2013. Americans are expected to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes for adults, children and pets. Total spending – including candy and decorations – is expected to reach $6.9 billion.

In fact, Halloween is the fourth most popular holiday that gets consumers to open up their pocketbook—next to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, according to Alliance Data Retail Services (ADRS), a marketing and customer loyalty solutions provider. Halloween treats are big business. Here are some tips to make Halloween a little healthier.

Don't deny your children the Halloween experience. That can send the entirely wrong message -- deprivation -- and make candy seem even more irresistible, leading to other problems. They may end up sneaking sweets or eating too much candy once they're out on their own. Instead, let them have the joy of Halloween and the experience of going to a party or trick-or-treating.

After children get back from trick-or-treating or a party, go through their bags of Halloween candy together. Let children help decide what is a reasonable amount of candy to keep. Leaving the candy readably accessible can be tempting for kids to grab a piece, so keep out enough for a few days and put the remainder away or make other plans for storing/discarding.

With your child, set a time of day to eat Halloween candy. This ritual “treat time” may last long after Halloween and help promote healthy thinking about treats. Children learn that eating sweets shouldn’t be an all-day feast. Moderation is key. Knowing they have a specific sweet time can help make children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day.

No matter when treat time is, it's crucial to brush soon after. If it is nighttime, for example, brushing and flossing teeth before bed will help sweep away the sugar.

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