Halloween sugar rush: 9 must -read tips before taking your kids out trick-or-treating
Halloween night might just be up there with the unhealthiest days of the year, and most of us nutrition-minded parents are stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to find a way to protect our kids from the trick-or-treat-induced sugar rush that is about to go down.
First of all, try to relax (a one-day sugar binge does not an addict make). And then maybe try a couple of these rather sneaky tricks before you let the kids head out tricking or treating around the neighbourhood this coming Thursday.
1. Make sure your kids eat a tasty, full dinner before it all kicks off. Being full with actual food will dramatically reduce their ability to wolf down their entire bucket of sweets. #Winning
2. Before you head out, discuss how much of their sweets they are allowed to eat along the way, and save the rest to divide up when back inside later on. Or, indeed, the next day.
3. Encourage children to spread the sweets out over the next week or so. A good idea is to create a ‘sweet bank’ in a sealed container. You can agree on times when the bank will be open for ‘withdrawals’ over the following weeks.
4. Encourage children to drink water throughout the day, particularly after eating sweets. Water will help to rinse the sugar from their teeth.
5. Incorporate some extra physical activity into the day – a run around the local green or a trip to the park will help children use up some of their extra energy.
6. As a parent, you can’t control what treats your child will be given by others. You can, however, have a discussion with your children, in advance, about what and how much they are allowed to eat. Avoid anything that is not in its original wrapper and large, very hard pieces of candy.
7. Throw out the excess sweets after a few days. Young children tend to forget about their huge hoards of sweets. Simply discard them when they are not around. (Don't eat it yourself, sure what good is that?!)
8. If they’re on a real sugar high, give them enough space to bounce it off, but don’t be tempted to delay bedtime too long – it will only make them ratty! Try a hot milky drink, a game together or a story and see if you can raise a few yawns.
9. Make sure they brush their teeth WELL.
Finally, don’t worry too much. Remember that one day of sugar binging isn’t going to ruin a healthy child’s entire diet. Also, overly-restrictive rules on sweets can actually make them more appealing to kids, so try to relax -it's what they eat often that matters, not what they eat today.