UAB Nutritionist joined us with ideas on how to handle Halloween candy. Everyone's got their own way to deal with Halloween candy and kids. Some parents let their kids eat all they want, whenever they want. Some parents even let the kids keep their candy in their bedrooms. Others got the opposite route. They take the candy away after just a few pieces using tricky scams like the switch witch to replace the candy with toys. But neither of these extremes helps develop a moderate, healthy attitude towards. No restriction at all can lead to obesity and an inability to enjoy a variety of foods. Over restriction can backtrack and lead to binge eating and disordered eating – particularly in the teen years. So a middle road is best – but not always easy to achieve. Here are some tips:
- Let Them Eat Candy after Trick or Treating: When you get home, let your kids eat candy. While you don't want to let them eat until they have a stomachache, let them indulge a bit – it's Halloween!
- Choose the Best, Leave the Rest: To help learn to be discerning eaters, have them pick out their favorite candy and get rid of the rest. This teaches them not to eat just for the sake of eating. Learning to appreciate the quality of food – rather than volume – helps kids learn to eat mindfully.
- Keep the Candy in the Kitchen: don't let your kids keep their candy in their bedrooms. Although she has to admit, her parents let us do that! But she had a bizarre habit of trying to make my candy last until Christmas. Yes, she was weird.
- A Few Pieces a Day, After Meals or Snacks: to teach moderation, let your kids choose a few piece a day after lunch, dinner, or a snack. Being overly restrictive can lead to disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food. Teaching children that a few small pieces of candy a day, along with their other healthy foods, is part of a balanced way to eat.
Taking a middle approach to sweets at Halloween and all year long can help us all, not just the kids, develop healthy food attitudes!