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By Melissa Hawthorne, MS, RD, LD

St. Hope Foundation

The summer months have come and gone and now it’s time to get ready for Fall. This is the time of year for pumpkins, parties, costumes, and not to mention lots of sugary candy. With all the Halloween excitement it’s easy to get wrapped up in focusing the holiday around candy and sweets. The average child will eat 3 cups of sugar from Halloween candy each October.

Try these tips below to help make you and your child’s Halloween a happy and healthy one:

  1. Delay Buying Candy – Halloween candy has already appeared on grocery store shelves. Avoid buying candy for trick-or-treating until a day or two before Halloween. This will minimize the temptation for you and your child to eat too much candy before Halloween arrives.
  2. Buy “Candy Free” treats – No need to hand out boxes of raisins, instead try stickers, bouncy balls, vampire teeth, individual packets of crayons, pencil toppers, glow sticks or rubber spider rings.
  3. Eat dinner before Trick-or-Treating – Feeding your child a balanced dinner before trick-or-treating will allow them to be less tempted to dig into their candy bag before they get home.
  4. Choose Favorites – Have your child go through all the candy collected and pick out their favorite pieces of candy. You can either take the candy not chosen to work to share with co-workers or mail it to our troops overseas or just throw the candy away.
  5. Teach Moderation – Once your child has chosen their favorite candy, give them snack-sized bags and instruct them to put a few pieces of candy in each bag. Keep these bags in a cabinet so the child can have a small bag of candy another day. This teaches the child portion control and that candy can be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.