Beware, Be Smart About Halloween Goodies

by Jodi Gilray-Szostak, PT, DPT, c/NDT, Jodi Gilray Pediatric Therapy

Before you bring a ton of Halloween candy into the home, set some ground rules. Let your kids know how many pieces of candy they can have and when they can have them. This includes the days after Halloween night.

You don’t need to give all the candy away, but instead, teach the value of limits and moderation.

Be a super role model

If your little one sees you mindlessly snacking out of the Halloween bowl, you can bet they’ll want to do the same. As you set limits for your little one, be sure to prepare in advance and set limits for yourself.

Perhaps that candy bowl is too tempting. In that case, put the candy bowl in a place that’s inconvenient to reach.

You can, alternatively, buy less candy and buy it closer to the Halloween holiday.

A surprising behavior might be lurking

Some kids are able to regulate their eating habits really well. This means that they’re more likely to stop eating when they’re full and can moderate their candy consumption without parental guidance.

Take note of your little one’s cues when they eat sweets and prepare for Halloween treats ahead of time.

You are what you think! 

When it comes to Halloween candy, it is often viewed as “bad” food. We encourage you to think about food a little bit differently around your kiddos because “good” and “bad” labeling can lead to restrictive behaviors and create feelings of shame around food later on in life.

Instead, try to choose language that tells a greater and positive story about the food you eat.

“I’m enjoying a few pieces of candy today because it sounds really good” is a perfect example of a statement that tells a greater story.

Eating is all about balance and variety. Of course, there are some foods we want more than others, but the relationship that we build with food early on in life often goes with us into adulthood. The moral of the story: Your reality becomes what you think!   

Bite into candy alternatives

Some Halloween healthy treats can be:

  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Dried fruit boxes 
  • Otter Pops
  • Granola bars 
  • Peanuts
  • Alternatives: Tattoos, stickers, bubbles, etc.