As a mom of two, balancing the desire for fun, festive activities with the health and wellbeing of my kiddos is no easy feat.
The holidays get extra tricky, especially with holidays that nearly revolve around candy, something I swore I would moderate in my family.
Leading up to our first Halloween, I did lots of research on the best way to handle this sticky situation (see what I did there!).
I come from a family of dentists who advocate limiting sugar to avoid cavities, but what I found surprised me…
Here are my top 4 tips to have a healthy Halloween.
1. Eat a good dinner before trick or treating.
Trick or treating is hard work! Lots of walking for little legs and lots of excitement, especially for big-feeling kiddos.
Fueling up first with nutritious, satisfying food will help keep the kiddos from coming home ravenous and eating through half their candy in one sitting.
2. Make it an experience.
Halloween isn’t onlyabout candy! It’s dressing up, seeing friends, doing something fun as a family, and having a memorable evening.
Play into the experiences that make the night special.
When I ask my daughter what made her happy at the end of the day on Halloween, she usually tells me her costume.
Kids don’t have the same relationship with food, particularly candy, that adults have. It’s just a small piece of the puzzle for them.
3. Let them eat candy!
Research shows that making certain foods off limits, rationed, or as “treats” for first eating other foods is what builds this type of excessive thinking in the first place.
While your instinct might be to limit the amount of candy they can eat and when, ask yourself if you would do the same with grapes or broccoli?
The more neutral you can make all foods, the less forbidden and tempting they will become to your kiddos.
Trust your little ones. They know their stopping points.
I’ve seen my daughter leave one last bite of a cookie or candy bar on her plate. They truly stop eating when they’re full.
In my house, I decide when the candy is available, and my kids decide how much they’re hungry for.
4. Make sure they get an extra good brush after!
Okay, so I do think candy is a part of life, but we know it’s not great for your teeth and can cause cavities and other dental problems.
Once it’s bedtime, it’s great to know you can get a 27X better brush in 30 seconds without fighting your tired, over-stimulated, and probably cranky kid.
Strawberry giraffe flossers don’t hurt either. 😉
Happy Trick or Treating…And Brushing!
The real deal is this: the tips above work great for my family, but every family is different. Either way, make sure you have a great toothbrush and floss ready to come in hot at the end of the evening.
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