1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6

By Online Pharmacy

Nutrition-savvy tricks for Halloween treats

October 29, 1999

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -- Keeping kids from overdosing on candy this Halloween takes common sense, not witchcraft, says one nutrition expert.

"Halloween is fun, and kids should be allowed to have fun and enjoy it, but it doesn't mean that they have to eat all their candy on Sunday night," explained Dr. Chris Rosenbloom, a nutritionist and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.



Check out the Nutrition and Healthy Eating Center


Granola bars and other healthy alternatives to candies and chocolate bars may be more nutritious, she said, "but I don't think kids are really going to like them."

The trick is to allow kids their scary, calorie-rich fun -- but in moderation. Rosenbloom suggests that when little ghosts and goblins arrive at the door, adults should "let them have candy, but stick to the fun-sized chocolate bars, stick to the small servings." And instead of handing out huge handfuls of candy, "just give them one or two pieces."

Adults should also pay attention to nutrition labels on candy packaging. Some chocolate bars have a much lower fat content than others, Rosenbloom points out.

She advises that once trick-or-treaters return home, their parents should "limit the amount that they eat -- don't let them have it all at once." One method of 'spacing out' the sweets is to allow small amounts of Halloween candy to replace desserts at mealtimes over the next week or two.

"From a dental standpoint, its better if you're eating sweets with meals instead of snacking frequently throughout the day," Rosenbloom explains. Furthermore, snacking on sweets "might ruin their appetite for the more nutritious foods that you might want them to have."

She has some advice for sweet-toothed parents, as well. Too often, adults devour whatever is left in the Halloween bowl after the holiday is over. One way to avoid this unhealthy habit is to "buy candy that you don't like," according to Rosenbloom. She points out that today's kids tend to favor 'hot' or 'sour' flavored candies -- sweets that are a turn-off for many adults.

The bottom line, she said, is that Halloween should remain good, scary, delicious fun for kids and adults alike. However, this "doesn't mean that parents have to give up all of their rights when it comes to how much candy their kids can eat."