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Healthy Halloween Tips for Parents and Kids

By HERWriter
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healthy tips for kids and parents at Halloween MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Time to don your costume for Halloween and whether it be sexy or sweet, the scary truth is how many calories are consumed on Halloween.

There are some things that you can do to prepare yourself and more importantly your kids for this potentially pound-packed holiday.

According to Time Magazine’s Healthland site’s interview with Donna Arnett, Ph.D., “Based on the nutrition labels on popular candies, the average child accumulates 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night.” Arnett is the chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Public Health.

Los Angeles-based registered dietician Vandana Sheth also told the site to fuel the kids up before sending them out to trick or treat.

“Consider having your kids eat something healthy before they go out so they aren’t tempted to eat the candy along the way.”

But sometimes it is not just the kids who delve into the candy bag. Adults also love sweets and while sorting through their kids’ candy, often eat more then they stow away.

It is however important to inspect your kids’ Halloween candy, as emphasized by the CDC. The government agency advises, “Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.”

If you cannot resist those candies opt for fun-sized treats. Each one of them weighs in at approximately 38 calories and five grams of carbs.

According to FitSugar.com, “The good news is that on most bags of candy, the serving size includes 2-3 pieces/bags/packets of each. I guess those candy companies know how 'fun' those fun packs really are.”

Moderation is key, according to Beth Cecil of Owensboro Medical Health System. “Weight management is tough and can be even more of a challenge during the holidays. The real key to success is controlling your calories, which often means keeping portions in check and knowing that little bites do add up.”

My advice is to limit the amount of candy both you and your kids get each day. Freeze some of it and take it out only on Sundays as a treat. You may also want to donate or give some of it away.

Online References:

“5 Tips for a Healthy Halloween – Healthland.time.com - Olivia B. Waxman.” Time Magazine. Web 30 October 2012.

“Do Trick or Treat Calories Really Count – Beth Cecil - OMHS.org.” Owensboro Medical Health System. Web 30 October 2012.

“Halloween Survival Guide Candy Breakdown – Fitsugar.com.” Pop Sugar - Fit Sugar – Healthy Happy You. Web 30 October 2012.

“Halloween Healthy and Safety – CDC.Gov.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web 30 October 2012.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed October 31, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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