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October 01, 2019

Boo! Ideas for a healthier trick-or-Treat

It’s scary how we all anxiously wait for Halloween treats, both kids and parents. We have fun and indulge with a mix of all sorts of candies.

Then, the guilt trip hits us, but don’t sweat it so much. Ken Haller, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University says that having a little fun with candy once a year will not lead to childhood obesity. The key is to know that it is not how much candy they want, but as a parent be in charge of how much candy they will have. “Eating candy on Halloween is like taking a vacation, kids should not make it a habit,” says Haller. “After the holiday they should feel like they have had enough candy and be willing to go back to their regular diet.” Anyhow, with obesity rates in the United States around 17% don’t you think it is time to trick the old sugary-treats, and give out healthier ones?

Here some healthy treat ideas to gift on Halloween:

  • Popcorn
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Cookies
  • Mini water bottles
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • Low fat granola or cereal bars
  • Baked chips, baked tortilla chips

Treats don’t have to be food, they can be small inexpensive gadgets and things that kids love to collect such as:

  • Coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Stickers
  • Decorative pencils
  • Glow sticks
  • Small rubber balls
  • Erasers
  • Colored clay
  • Bubbles
  • Chalk

With this holiday comes a great opportunity to remind kids about healthy dental habits. 

Haller says Halloween can be a good time to reinforce in kids a daily habit of brushing their teeth. So, get ready to buy a new toothbrush and toothpaste!  Offer them flavored dental products like Act Bubblegum BlowOut® Toothpaste for kids and ACT Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinse. It strengthens and protects developing teeth with a fresh bubblegum flavor that offers a sweet treat for a clean mouth. Incorporating the Fluoride Rinse into your child’s oral care routine can reduce their risk of cavities by up to 40% more than brushing with a fluoride toothpaste alone. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry supports and encourages the appropriate use of topical fluoride in children 6 years and up, but if in doubt, validate with your child’s dentist. Kids are born imitators, show them how to brush, floss and rinse properly and they will follow your steps.

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