http://www.wellspringacademies.com/) , the leading treatment program for overweight children and teens, have several recommendations for parents this year at Halloween:
* Wait to buy your candy. We tend to eat what’s in the pantry. This year, try waiting until Halloween day to buy your candy or at least hide it somewhere until then. Odds are everyone will be snacking a bit less on this year’s treats.
* Plan your own activity. Halloween is about having fun, not hoarding stashes of candy. Corn mazes, haunted houses, even planning your own party are activities that take the focus off of sugary treats.
* Limit the amount you grab. It’s hard to not take a handful of anything that’s free, but limiting your children to only one item at each of your stops is a healthy start. At the very least, it’s polite for the trick-or-treaters after them.
* Offer healthy alternatives. Don’t worry about getting toilet-papered, not every house needs to offer candied apples. Gum, hard candy, glow sticks/glow necklaces, and plastic rings are all popular, healthy alternatives to candy with high levels of saturated fat.
* Ration the amount of candy eaten afterwards. The typical dietary recommendation for candy is a maximum intake of 22 pounds per year for a 12-year-old child** – which can often be eaten in a single night during Halloween. Having the occasional treat is good for you, offer one after a healthy meal, exercising, or finishing homework.