Halloween Health Tips!

Halloween is a fun time for children, but how to manage all that candy!  Every family will have different ways to handle the candy in the house and how it is eaten, but here a few other tips to help that may help you think of what to do with it all:
  • Make sure they have a good dinner before they go out trick-or-treating.
  • Set your expectations up ahead of time for what will happen to the candy – it needs to be checked and inspected at home before eaten, we will give some away or any other expectations you have.
  • Recycle it: If you have time to do some instant recycling, take the candies your kids don’t like and make sure you have checked it and send it back out the door with other trick-or-treaters.
  • Freeze it: Saving it for later and making less instantly available.
  • Bake it: Save a stash for baking that can be used for cupcakes and cookies, especially with the holidays coming up.  Save things for the gingerbread house if you are making one for Christmas.
  • Give away: Some dental and pediatric offices (like ours at El Camino Pediatrics) sponsor a Halloween Candy Buy Back where candy is bought from children and sent overseas via Operation Gratitude to troops overseas.  If you can’t find one of these, you might wrap some up and give to other community causes or buy it back from your child and take the office (hopefully you have a big office staff!). We are having our Halloween Candy Buy Back on Thursday November 1 from 2 to 5 PM.
  • Treats for Treats: Have them give it back to you (and you will have to figure out what to do with it with some of these ideas) and they can trade it in for another treat, like a toy or activity.
  • Store it: It is best to keep candy stored somewhere up high and out of sight from little ones.  It is more tempting if it is in a bowl on the table.
  • Have kids understand that candy as a treat is fine, but they need to eat their meals and snacks first.  Kids will need to understand what the limits are when it comes to “how much” and “when” and these should be talked about and each family will have to figure out what is right for them.
And here are some tips to protect them from “haunted teeth”…
  • Continue to encourage toothbrushing!  Ideally brushing after candy treats.  If they are out and not able to brush after a sugary treat, have them eat a piece of apple or carrots to help decrease the sugars on the teeth, especially after sticky candies.
  • Limit or reconsider offering candies that are sour.  These are made with acid and expose to teeth to increased acidity which softens them and increases the risk of cavities.  Look for acid ingredients: citric, lactic, malic, tartaric, fumaric, adipic or ascorbic.
  • Have them rinse their mouth with water immediately if they do eat sour candies.