My kindergartener asked me how many days until Halloween. He is so excited for Halloween because he really enjoyed going door to door down our neighborhood for trick-or-treating and eating all the candies afterwards of course!
What to do with all the Halloween candies and treats?
We often get questions around how to handle “junk food’ such as candies and treats especially on a day like Halloween where kids typically get an excess amount. Here we share with you top 5 tips from your BC Dietitians Nutritionists to plan for the Halloween weekend!
- Eat an early dinner on Halloween
Eat dinner together as a family before heading to your Halloween activities – this allows for plenty of time at night to do your activities with a full belly.
Avoid using bribes or threats like “three more bites of X meal item and we can go have candy”. Using candies and treats as a leverage may work at that meal to get a few bites in, but it’s really just teaching your kids that candies are special and healthy food tastes bad.
- Trick-or-Treat Only a Few Houses
3-4 houses will provide enough of the season excitement and ensure limited candy collection. This will also help limit contact with people outside your bubble this year. Besides trick-or-treating, it’s also just as fun to walk around the neighborhood, checking out all the spooky decorations and let the little ones spend off some more energy!
- Allow the Halloween Feast for the Weekend
How much candies should you let your kids have? Let them decide!
Allow your kids eat the candies they have collected for this weekend (they’ve worked hard for it and it only comes once a year!). Let the kids have fun and enjoy the excitement of the evening and a few days afterwards – you may be surprised that your kids stop after picking out a few of their favorites.
You can’t expect to improve your health by eating lots of fruits and veggies for only a few days, similarly, kids eating ‘too much’ candies and treats for a few days will not ruin their health.
- Decide what to do with the Leftover Candies/Treats
As the parent/caregiver, you determine when and where the child gets the leftover candies. Serve the remaining candies/treats as part of a snack or meal – remember all food fits in a healthy diet!
Out of sight, out of mind – kids tend to forget about the candies if they’re tucked away afterwards. We like to tuck the leftover treats away in the cupboard and bring them out to enjoy a few at a time!
Be consistent with what you’ve decided to do so your kids know what to expect.
- Amy Chow, RD. Owner and founder of Chow Down Nutrition. Founder of Find BC Dietitians.
- Clare Douglas. UBC Food, Nutrition and Health Student.
- Jenn Messina: Sweets and Treats: How To Manage Sugary Foods And Other ‘Junk’ Foods (accessed October 25, 2020).
Available from: https://www.jennmessina.com/post/sweets-and-treats-how-to-manage-sugary-foods-and-other-junk-foods
- Jenn Messina: Top Strategies To Deal With Teaching Kids About Halloween Candy (accessed October 25, 2020).
Available from: https://www.jennmessina.com/post/halloween-candy
- Kristen Yarker: What to Do About All That Halloween Candy (accessed October 25, 2020).
Available from: https://kristenyarker.com/youtube/2020/2/19/what-to-do-about-all-that-halloween-candy