Ask Dr. Nandi: How to Have a Healthy Halloween

Posted at 12:44 PM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 20:27:55-04

(WXYZ) — Ghost and goblins will soon be running gleefully through our streets searching for houses giving out candy. And once their bags are full of tempting bite-sized treats, is it at all possible for children to have a healthy Halloween?

What advice do you have for parents with children that can’t wait to dive into their candy bag?

As a father of three children who love Halloween, I have plenty of advice to share. What I do is set expectations hours before we head out. I talk about eating sweets in moderation and let them know exactly how many they can have once we get home. But before we walk out the door, my kids know that they have to eat a healthy dinner. And I make sure they eat enough because later on, I don’t want them feeling hungry and begging for more treats. I also suggest using smaller bags that fill up quicker, and that once Halloween is over, to keep the candy in a cupboard. We all know that saying, out of sight, out of mind.

Kids can easily get a sugar rush from the candy, is there any food that will help balance this out?

Before trick-or-treating, I suggest you serve healthy protein and fiber foods so that they’ll feel full longer and not be as hungry when the get home. Healthy choices include grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, and bananas. And then after trick-or-treating, two kid-friendly foods that can help balance out blood sugar levels are string-cheese and apple slices.

Candy and cavities can often go hand in hand. What are the worst candies when it comes to dental health?

Sour candy and stickie candy like caramel, gummies and taffy are not the best for teeth. They’re pretty gooey so they stay on the teeth a lot longer than chocolate for example that melts in your mouth. But regardless, it’s important that kids brush and floss their teeth daily. I would also suggest they drink water after eating sweets as this will help to rinse the teeth.