It is true that Halloween is a wonderful holiday and a ritual passed down through generations and many kids are sooooo eager to go out and Trick-or-Treat the neighbors. The concern for the healthy-conscious parents are the candy that the kids bring home in bags and hats. They are the nightmares of dentists too. It is true again that these treats are mostly empty calories, full of sugar and artificial dyes, preservatives and trans-fat, part of the so-called “junk food” category.
Like alcohol, candy is considered a discretionary calorie, which means that it contains no nutritional value and it is recommended by the medical community that we should consume only 100-200 of these type of calories per day. I would say consume None of it and you will be better off.
So the question bears: is there anything we can do about it and ease off the guilt that we have by either giving away empty calories or by allowing our kids to eat these sugary bombs? Here are some tips:
- Dark chocolate – the health benefits of dark chocolate are all over the internet and I will not bother you again with them. This is your best bet. Now many major candy companies are starting to offer a dark chocolate version of some of the most popular treats so please look for these one when buying candy (i.e. Kit Kat, Aero, Hershey’s)
- Water bottles – I know it sounds creepy but the parents will thank you! (in secret!)
- Juice boxes – there are some juice boxes now that are sugar free (apple, orange) and even organic!
- Dried fruit – here the most used are raisins, which are small and easy to pack in a small box. Other dried fruit in boxes are more expensive (if you can afford it).
- Fat-free candy – these candy are supposedly better that regular candy but they are still bad. Pure sugar.
And some other tips for Halloween:
- Demand you kid to have dinner before trick-or-treating to avoid candy binges later!
- Ask the kid to brush her/his teeth before going to bed. Flossing is vital now!
- Allow them to eat only a few pieces at one sitting, not continuously through the day, to avoid prolonged sugar exposure and drive everyone crazy!
- Throw away candy after two weeks! Stay in control folks!
I hope this helps and nobody will toilet-paper your house!