While kids and parents both get a huge kick out of Halloween—the decorations, the costumes, the fun—the jury is split on the effect of all that candy on trick-or-treaters. Dentists, pediatricians and parents of already-hyper-enough-thank-you kids agree that despite the spooky spirit of the holiday, the candy is overwhelmingly excessive and harmful to kids. But short of being a Halloween humbug and—gasp!— keeping your tyke away from the festivities altogether, what is to be done?
KidsHealth suggests parents, “Consider being somewhat lenient about candy eating on Halloween, within reason, and talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled.” Once you and your child have decided on what will happen with all of the extra candy (provided you don’t eat it all yourself before November first). The key is to remember that Halloween is just one day out of the year—it’s okay to indulge but it’s also possible to minimize the damage by giving out healthier treats. But before you start cutting up carrots sticks, remember last year’s ad for Crest and Oral B with kids’ uncensored reactions to healthy ‘treats’? Although unexpected vegetables don’t make most children vomit (we hope!), it’s possible to find less sweet, more nutritious options that won’t have your little ghost yelling BOO!
1. Dark Chocolate
Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and nutritionally significant amounts of iron, copper, and manganese, dark chocolate isn’t low-cal but it is actually healthy. Milk chocolate is higher in empty calories from sugar and cocoa butter.