Advertisement

How can I teach my kids to eat their Halloween candy in moderation?

Here are some tips to help you and your kids control your Halloween candy indulgences:
  • Eat a healthy snack before the treats
  • Walk from home-to-home, don't drive
  • Sort the candy
  • Set quotas for how much they can keep
  • Put the treats away once they've had enough for the day
Molly Morgan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Make a plan and stick to it... set your daily candy 'moderation' goal, like one or two pieces after dinner. Also get the candy out of sight (& out of mind!). Try moving it to a ceramic or non-transparant container on the top shelf in a cupboard. Before long, they will stop asking for it! Then get rid of or freeze what is not eaten!
Sari Greaves
Nutrition & Dietetics
When kids get home from trick-or-treating, allow them to use their newly acquired Halloween candy as a sort of currency. First, have kids pile through and choose favorites and non-favorites. Then, make a wager with them that for every piece of candy they fork over they get a penny or nickel. Then kids can use their newly acquired money to buy something (non-food focused) at the store. With the candy that is left, be sure to immediately stash out of sight. Allow kids to choose one piece a day and preferably after a meal.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Setting boundaries before setting out to "trick-or-treat" can help.  Ensure that your children enjoy a healthy meal prior to starting the Halloween festivities.  Once they get home, try to encourage them to set aside candy that they'd like to eat vs. ones that they would like to give away.  Also, decide how many candy/day is acceptable.  Finally, model behavior that you want them to copy. If they are older, this might be a good time to learn label reading and allowing them the opportunity to make healthier choices.

I will sound like a broken record but the key is what you do.

If your kids see you throwing down the candy then they will see that as acceptable.  If your kids see you be reasonable with your candy intake + eat healthier and be active then they will see that as the acceptable way to live.  I would start with you and set the example for your kids.

You can start by sitting down and talking to your kids about how much Halloween candy is reasonable for a day and when during the day they would like to have the candy. Agreeing on set parameters beforehand is important in helping your children feel like a part of the decision. When they get home from trick-or-treating, ask them to separate the treats into two piles: favorites and not-so-favorites. Allow them to enjoy some from each pile, according to the agreed upon plan.

Continue Learning about Healthy Holidays

Why You Don’t Need to Worry About Your Health Over the Holidays
Why You Don’t Need to Worry About Your Health Over the Holidays
You’ve probably seen endless stories about how you can "stay healthy over the holidays"—tips intended to keep you from "overindulging." Ick! How un-fu...
Read More
Why is it dangerous to pass around plates during a holiday meal?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
You don't have to eat everything in front of you, but if you're hosting, you should serve each perso...
More Answers
8 Holiday Side Dishes That Won’t Derail Your Diet
8 Holiday Side Dishes That Won’t Derail Your Diet8 Holiday Side Dishes That Won’t Derail Your Diet8 Holiday Side Dishes That Won’t Derail Your Diet8 Holiday Side Dishes That Won’t Derail Your Diet
These sides will definitely steal the show at your next holiday feast.
Start Slideshow
Lisa Oz and Dr. Oz Make Banana, Date, and Nut Muffins
Lisa Oz and Dr. Oz Make Banana, Date, and Nut Muffins

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.