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Children in Halloween Costumes with Candy

Tricks for Limiting Halloween Treats

By Dr. Drusilla S. Powell, Chesapeake Pediatrics

So it’s Halloween night, the trick-or-treat bags are bursting at the seams, and your kids look like they’re about to eat their weight in candy corn. Should you let them have at it? Dole out a piece or two a day? Let them eat with abandon for a couple of days, and then throw out the rest?

This is a great time to teach children about moderation and making choices since the habits we develop as children follow us through life.

Here are some tips:

  • Have a discussion with your children in the days before Halloween about limits and why they’re needed. This helps them buy into the idea. Craft a plan together about how many pieces they can have while trick or treating, how many when they get home, and how many each day after that.
  • Sort through the candy together. It’s a good way to check for any pieces that look tampered with, unsafe, or spoiled. Also, children usually like to sort candy into piles of favorites and that will help them figure out how best to choose according to the limits.
  • Point out that the stickier candy like gummies, caramels, and sour candies are worse for their teeth. Better choices are chocolate, sugar-free gum, and snack-size packs of pretzels or crackers.
  • Look up local “buy back” opportunities that dentists often sponsor for children to trade candy for toys or money. Some of them send candy to military troops, so it’s a way children can develop a sense of generosity as well.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.