Sugar consumption on Halloween is what spooks us!
Forget the scary costumes! For most kids Halloween is all about the CANDY! 🎃 🍭 Although Halloween is but one day a year, the candy haul can last for weeks. While gorging on candy for one day isn’t the worst thing, a steady consumption of Halloween candy for days (or weeks), can be detrimental to our kids’ health.
Of course, we don’t want to take away the excitement of Halloween! But finding those “teachable” moments are important, and this can be a great opportunity to teach kids about healthy sugar consumption and moderation.
- Refined sugar has ZERO nutrients + squeezes out nutritious foods that help kids grow.
- Bacteria in the mouth mix with sugars to form an acid that attacks tooth enamel causing cavities.
- The worst Halloween treats are those stick treats such as sticky toffee or rolled-up fruit snacks.
- Remind kids to always brush their teeth after eating candy!
- Eating too much candy can lead to excess weight gain + leading to an increased risk of HBP, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes – put it in kids’ terms 😉
How much is too much?
It doesn’t take much Halloween candy to hit these sugar limits.
Guidelines from the WHO recommend that kids reduce their intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of daily calories – for a 7-year-old who needs about 1500 calories per day, that means no more than 4.5 teaspoons of refined sugars a day.
Set limits, manage expectations
- Decide in advance how much candy your child can eat on Halloween night as well as during days to come
- If your kids eat as much as they like from their loot on Halloween, make it clear that lasts for one day.
- Before sending them out to trick-or-treat or scavenger hunt, make sure they have had a healthy dinner or snack.
- One for one: they must eat something healthy first before they eat from their loot.
Manage the leftovers
- Have your kids sort their goodies into two piles – favourites, least favourites.
- Throw everything other than their favourites in the garbage.
- When post-Halloween treat time is up, the leftover candy can be donated or stored in the freezer (out of site out of mind).