Most kids are getting excited at this time of the year for the opportunity to dress up as frightening ghouls or to don humorous costumes that can look like household items, popular fast food, and furry animals. The big theme in our house this Halloween is superheroes due to all the recent blockbuster movies like The Avengers, Spider-Man and Batman.
Next to dressing-up, the best part of Halloween for my kids is trick-or-treating. Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Reese’s Pieces, Runts, Bottle Caps & Gobstoppers – these goodies are what young dreams are made of and can be my worst nightmare, especially when my youngest wants to eat Halloween candy every day until Christmas. With orange and green sacks filled with sugary treats everywhere, what is a parent to do to keep kids healthy Halloween night and the days following?
Well, there is really no way to convince my children that Halloween candy is off limits, particularly just when they have brought home their loot. Instead, when considering its nutritional value, I find it’s best to focus on the 'treat' part of Halloween and to make sure that I store and ration its contents, so that my kids won’t eat it all at once.
One simple way to ration candy is to fill their bellies with healthy and hearty foods before trick-or-treating. This can prevent them from being overly hungry for candy upon their return. On October 31st, try some of these wholesome recipes from Chicken Farmers of Canada. The protein will keep your kids feeling fuller, longer, and give them a feeling of warmth before a potentially chilly night out.
Scary Chicken Cordon Blue Fingers (This Halloween theme recipe will surely be a hit!)
Feeding your kids wholesome food can also have the added benefit of reducing their temptation to snack on candy while trick-or-treating. Snacking away from home can be particularly harmful if you, as a parent, have not had the opportunity to inspect the candy. Be sure to talk to your children about food safety this Halloween.
Here are some useful tips from Nestle:
- Children should not consume any treats that are not commercially wrapped, such as homemade candy or baked goods.
- Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discolouration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers.
- Some Halloween treats may trigger allergic reactions. Read the complete label and ingredient list of products before interpreting it is safe for all to eat.
- Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.