Halloween is a time for costumes, spooky fun, and, of course, candy.
The American Heart Association is reaching with tips on how children and families can have fun this Halloween while staying healthy.
According the AHA, childhood obesity has reached an alarming level in the United States. More than one in three children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to other significant health issues like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Here are some tips from the AHA on how to handle trick-or-treating, and the abundance of candy after the fact:
- Remember to have a healthy meal before you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.
- Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!
- Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100 percent juice juice-boxes, snack sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, or coupons to local frozen yogurt stores. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
- Find the right sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillow case method.
- Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery stores after Halloween.
- Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for five days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts, or celery.
- “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at a local park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
- Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients so be on the lookout for that option.