Halloween: Why You Should Be Giving Out Tricks Not Treats

halloween-candyThe fact is that American kids consume too much candy on Halloween.  A study by Ogden and Carroll found that over a third of children and adolescents in 2010 were defined as obese or overweight. A study carried out by the NPD Group (that undertakes market research on eating trends) found that a staggering 4 percent of all candy consumed during the year is consumed on this one day alone.

So what is the solution?  Well, you probably don’t want to be that parent that gives out tricks rather than treats.  And you can’t control what others are doing.  But you can exert some level of control over what your family is consuming on Halloween.  So, take some expert advice.  According to mother of three, registered dietician and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sarah Krieger, one way to handle the Halloween candy rush is to cut back on something else that you are eating on that day that is not so healthy such as sugared drinks or granola bars – anything with added sugar.  Then, sit down with your kids ahead of time to discuss what they intend to do with their Halloween candy.  Maybe they want to keep some and give some to charity.  Or maybe they want to give you the candy and let you decide when to give it to them, slowly.

In addition, it is wise to make sure you serve your kids a healthy, wholesome meal just before all the candy fanfare begins.  That way if they are full on good foods they are less likely to completely over-indulge.
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At the end of the day Halloween is a lot of fun.  But it really doesn’t have to be all about eating as much candy as you can.  A lot of the enjoyment is in the collecting, going door-to-door, dressing up, trading with siblings and friends etc.  So as a parent, try to make the focus on that rather than the total over-consumption of Halloween candy.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]sunstoneonline.com.

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