Okay, so here at the Dental Store, we’re not telling you to skip the treats altogether. But parents and neighbors are hoping for a change this Halloween. And we think the kids will like the idea too.
There are numerous reasons why people are searching for a better option: food allergies, childhood obesity, dye sensitivities, tooth decay and orthodontics. Not to mention, do we really need pillowcases full of M&Ms, Snicker Bars and Skittles that last until the 4th of July? With our culture becoming more health conscious by the minute, let’s explore some healthier Halloween options.
- Skip the sugary candy. Instead, opt for bags of popcorn, whole grain pretzels, organic juice boxes, trail mix or organic fruit snacks if you must have something sweet to hand out. Look for foods that are prepackaged, organic and only have a few ingredients with little to no additives.
- Non food items. Kids love toys just as much as candy, if not more. Plus, the toy will last longer and they can play with it over and over. Some great ideas are: airplanes, coloring books, bouncy balls, plastic rings, stampers, glow bracelets, play dough and mini Lego characters. Be careful not to give smaller children toys that could be a choking hazard.
- Ask your kids if they’d like a visit from the Candy Fairy, or Switch Witch, after Halloween. This takes a little planning on your end but it’s been a big hit. Parents, go to the store and pick out a few small toys or gifts then ask your children to leave all their candy out overnight for the Switch Witch to come and exchange.
- Teachable moments. Take the time to talk with your kids about moderation and smarter snack options. If your kids do end up with the sugary stuff ask them to help you decide on, and set a limit, of pieces they can eat per day. Remind them to brush and floss after eating any snacks. If your child is under the age of eight, brush and floss their teeth for them to clean off all the sugar bugs.
No tricks here – you really can have a happy Halloween without all the sugary treats. The biggest thing is to keep it fun for the trick-or-treaters. You can offer healthier options without being the house that hands out toothbrushes and floss.