Can you offer some advice to parents with children who are eager to dive into their candy bags?
As a father of three kids who love Halloween, I am no stranger to Halloween candy struggles. What works for us is to set out expectations earlier in the day before the fun begins. We discuss how to eat in moderation and settle on a specific number of candies that may be eaten once we’re home. My kids also know they must eat a hearty and healthy dinner before we walk out the door for Trick-or-Treating. That way the kids won’t be begging for more treats because they are hungry. I also suggest using smaller bags to bring home a smaller haul, as well as stashing the leftover candy in a cupboard. As the old saying goes, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’
Is there any food that will help balance out the inevitable sugar rush?
The key is to create a solid nutritional foundation before trick-or-treating. I recommend healthy protein and fiber foods so they feel full longer and won’t be looking to their treat bag to supplement. Healthy choices include grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, and bananas. For a kid-friendly after trick-or-treating snack that can help balance blood sugar levels are string-cheese and apple slices.
More candy can mean more cavities. Which candies are the worst culprits when it comes to dental health?
Anything sour or sticky like caramel, gummies, taffy, or lollipops are not the best for teeth. Anything that is acidic or lingers on the teeth will be worse than something like dark chocolate that melts in your mouth. My best recommendation is to have kids drink water after eating sweets to help rinse teeth. Regardless of sweet intake, make sure that kids brush and floss their teeth each day. as well as daily brushing and flossing.