Photo by Kimberly Sentner
By Tanya Steel, Epicurious.com
Ah, Halloween. The night when some of us pack much of the 25 pounds of candy we each consume annually into a few short hours (well, at least I do). This year, at least 41 million kids will be trick-or-treating, snagging bite-size Snickers, Twizzlers, and Twix. So how do we keep them from then going into a roller-coaster ride from blood sugar highs and lows? Follow these five tips, which will reinforce the importance of moderation, and this Halloween will prove to be delicious and yet (semi) healthy.
See also: 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Feeding their Kids
1. Square their Three Meals: One of the keys to not overeating is to feel satiated and full. Make sure they have a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner before they head out. Those meals should be filled with fiber (from fruits and veggies and whole grains) and protein (lean-cuts of red meat, or chicken, pork, or fish) which keeps them energized and full.
2. Keep the Marathoners Hydrated: Just like runners in a race, trick-or-treaters need to keep quenched with water. This maintains their equilibrium as well as their thirst, keeps their tummies somewhat filled, and replenishes any lost salts from hot costumes. (Those Batman and Princess masks really heat up!)
3. Seeks Coins as well as Candy: All Hallows' Eve shouldn't just be about jumping on the sugar train. It should also be about helping less fortunate kids around the world. Have your child bring a UNICEF box with them so they are also collecting money, which will likely result in a little less candy collection as well.
See also: How to Make Zombie Cupcakes
4. Divide and Conquer: When you get home, first go through to make sure there are no candies that are open, damaged, or look suspect. Then ask your child to pick out five or six favorite pieces of candy. Explain that all of the candy belongs to them, and they will get to enjoy it every night hereinafter until it's all gone, but only in moderation. If that thought panics them, doing an inventory might assuage their nervousness that it will somehow disappear. Place the remaining candy in the freezer and or cupboard, where it can't easily be reached.
5. Cherish and Chew: Explain to your child that the smaller bites they take and slower they eat, the more flavor they will experience. Also, they should know that it can take up to 20 minutes before your stomach tells your brain it's full, so the longer you can prolong the enjoyment, the better. Have them drink sips of water in between the candy, to refresh the mouth and fill them up a bit more.
For some ghoulishly good Halloween party recipes, our supermarket candy taste test, and videos on how to make candy apples and spiderweb cookies, check out our Halloween package.
More from Epicurious.com:
• One-Dish Wonders: Our Favorite Casserole Recipes
• The Best Fall Recipes
• Healthy Snack Taste Test
• School Lunch Recipes and Tips
Photo by Kimberly Sentner
PICK OF THE DAY
- Anatomy of a Candy Corn Oreo Healthy Living