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Healthy Halloween!

by Jolanda Garcia

Healthy Halloween! These two words don't traditionally go together. Boo! Trick or Treat! Those are the usual words we'll be hearing on Halloween, as our little witches, superheroes, and vampires knock on the neighbor s doors for treats. Treats are a part of the tradition, but for many parents the most frightening thing about Halloween is how to deal with the avalanche of candy that comes into the home on Halloween.

Here are some simple strategies to use before and after trick-or-treating.

- Make sure children eat a meal or snack before going trick-or-treating so they won t be tempted to dig into their bag of goodies before they get home.

- When children get home, check the treats and keep only the treats that are in their original wrappers.

- Eat trick-or-treat candy over several days as a substitute for dessert or a few pieces along with a healthy snack.

- Keep holiday candy until the next holiday, such as Thanksgiving.

- Ration the amount of Halloween candy a child eats at one time.

- Place a small amount of candy in a plastic bag for a special treat.

- Freeze the chocolate bars to save them for later. Frozen chocolate takes longer to eat, so children can't eat them so quickly.

- Trade candy bars or certain amount of candy for small trinkets, Halloween toys and novelties, Barrettes, hair bows, ribbons, jewelry, Action figures, or for a movie or video.

- Make an art project with your Halloween candy. Paint sturdy paper plate and use glue and leftover candy to decorate the plate. This makes a great art piece. Visit www.kidssoup.com for more ideas.

- For small children - Leave it for the Great Jack-O 'Lantern. Tell a story of the Great Jack-O 'Lantern and pour all the excess and unwanted candy in a special Jack-O 'Lantern and leave it outside for the Great Jack-O 'Lantern to take and share with all the poor children that didn't get candy on Halloween.

What has been a nutritional and dental nightmare can, with a little creativity and planning, remain one of the favorite celebrations of children and parents alike. Have a Healthy Happy Halloween! I'll trade you a tootsie roll for a periwinkle barrette.

Comments: Great simple strategies for health-conscious parents to deal with the flood of candy that comes into the home on Halloween.

About the Author:
Jolanda Garcia is a former teacher and educational content designer and runs several websites. Her goal is to give parents and teachers great resources to nurture children's health, development and creativity through crafts and activities. Visit her websites: kids arts and crafts at www.KidsSoup.com, Kid's Health and Nutrition at www.EarTwiggles.com and www.HalloweenPartyBox.com.



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