Ten Tricks for Treats at Halloween

Candy has been a special and fun part of the Halloween season since Americans first embraced the tradition of trick-or-treating in the 1950s. If you keep these tricks in mind, it’s easy to stay safe this Halloween season and include a moderate amount of treats in your Halloween celebration.

Safely Enjoy the Halloween Season

Safety is a top priority at Halloween. No matter what your plans are this year, there are ways to celebrate safely. Practice safe trick-or-treat routes; wear reflective clothing and carry flashlights; follow all applicable federal, state and local health guidelines; and wait until you get home to inspect and enjoy a few pieces of candy.

Celebrate the Entire Halloween Season

Don’t forget: Halloween is more than just one night of trick-or-treating. Get in the Halloween spirit starting in early fall and celebrate all through October.

Make a Plan for Enjoying Treats

Parents should make a plan to help their children make informed choices when they enjoy treats. Begin the conversation as soon as you start talking about Halloween – whether you’re decorating the house or shopping for costumes.

Understand Candy Portions

After you’ve enjoyed a few treats on Halloween, portion out treats for later by putting two or three pieces of candy into small bags. That way, you’re ready to talk about balance with your children as you enjoy treats over the following days and weeks.

Eat Before You Treat

If you decide to go out trick-or-treating, enjoy a balanced dinner together. It’s important to talk about balance not just around Halloween, but throughout the year.

Set a Routine

Research suggests that routines are beneficial to children. Involve them in the decision-making process by allowing them to decide when they can have their favorite treats, while you guide them on the mindful enjoyment of chocolate and candy.

Don’t Prohibit Treats

Restriction may increase the desire for treats like chocolate and candy. Instead, try teaching children about the role small amounts of treats can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle while allowing them to enjoy a pre-determined number of treats per day.

Savor the Flavor

Talk to your children about slowing down and enjoying treats with mindfulness. Minimize distractions while eating and bring their attention to the textures and flavors of their favorite treats.

Don’t Forget to Brush!

The best way to keep your teeth strong enough to enjoy treats is to brush frequently, floss regularly, use fluoride products as recommended by your dentist and rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum after each meal or snack.

Mix It Up

You can change the nutritional profile of your favorite treats by combining a smaller amount with whole grain cereals, dried fruit and/or nuts to make a fun trail mix. It’s another great way to demonstrate balance!