Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween treat ideas

For health-conscious parents, Halloween can be tricky. Do you set limits? Do you let kids decide how much to eat? There isn't just one right answer. Instead, use your best judgment given what you know about your child's personality and eating habits. LEAD WITH EDUCATION!!! But be sure to let your children know the impact of the ingredients in candy – die and artificial flavors cause damage to your healthy cells leading to an increased risk of cancer; artificial sugar is a chemical and chemicals damage your cells; too much sugar can cause hyperactivity, rises and dives in blood sugar, can be addictive, can lead to mood swings and negative behavior, and can increase their risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Can we enjoy a little candy as a treat? Sure, but too much leads to harmful changes in the body. This is the PERFECT time to teach your children to take care of their bodies and be aware that moderation is essential.

Before kids go trick-or-treating, serve a healthy meal so they're not hungry when the candy starts coming in.

SET LIMITS BEFORE you acquire the candy. A great idea is to pick a certain number of pieces of candy your child can keep. It will make them really think about what they want to consume the most and increase their decision making skills. Decide then what day any left over candy will be disposed of. That way, you won’t have lingering candy around for your child to get into the habit of eating. They can enjoy the candy and then be freed of the daily temptation and nagging that often times occurs!

Here are some more tips for handling the Halloween treats:

* Know how much candy your child has collected and store it somewhere other than the child's room. Having it so handy can be an irresistible temptation for many kids. Go ahead and have them pick what they want to keep and quickly dispose of the rest.
* Before you go Trick or Treating or your Fall Carnival, talk about how the candy will be handled. Candy and snacks shouldn't get in the way of kids eating healthy meals.
* If a child is overweight — or you'd just like to reduce the Halloween stash — consider buying back some or all of the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little spending money.
* Be a role model by eating Halloween candy in moderation yourself. To help avoid temptation, buy your candy at the last minute and get rid of any leftovers.
* Encourage your child to be mindful of the amount of candy and snacks eaten — and to stop before feeling full or sick. If they have not eaten healthy that day, don’t allow the sweet treat to be a substitute. That will help show them the value of the healthy food for their body.

You also can offer some alternatives to candy to the trick-or-treaters who come to your door. Here are some treats to think about giving out:

* Non-food treats, like stickers, toys, temporary tattoos, false teeth, little bottles of bubbles and small games, like tiny decks of cards (party-supply stores can be great sources for these)
* Snacks such as small bags of pretzels, trail mix, small boxes of raisins, and popcorn
* Small boxes of cereal

Steer clear of any snacks or toys — like small plastic objects — that could pose choking hazards to very young children.

And remember that Halloween, like other holidays, is a single day on the calendar. If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, it will have a more lasting impact than a few days of overindulgence. IT IS NOT WHAT YOU DO ONE IN A WHILE THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE (positive or negative). IT IS WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO DO EVERY DAY THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR HEALTH!!

(source of article unknown)

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