The magical night of Halloween is just around the corner.
While many young people look forward with great anticipation to the night, and all of the candy and treats it brings, the event can bring added stress for parents who are encouraging their youth to live healthier lifestyles.
While Halloween is just one night, many parents are concerned about the excess calories and cavities that can arise from too much sugar consumption.
When selecting treats for visiting goblins, consider candy alternatives such as prepackaged snack bags of pretzels, sugar-free gum, granola bars or small boxes of cereal. Nonfood items such as pencils, spooky erasers, small bottles of bubbles, trading cards, stickers, coupons for free items or other appropriate party favors are also great alternatives, especially if you expect visits from young people with food allergies.
Before heading out for an evening of fun, feed your little ghosts and goblins a healthy snack or a light meal. This can help curb appetites and make it easier to monitor food and candy consumption throughout the evening.
Once they return home, allow your young person to select a couple pieces of their favorite candy, then set a limit for each day after. This simple act is also a great way to teach or reinforce counting and sorting by the type of item and color.
You can make the holiday last longer by having your youth use their creativity to make container to hold their candy and other treats. Fill the container three-quarters-full with the smaller items they received.
Each day, allow your young person to pull out two to three items. It will be a surprise for both of you and make having to wait a little more exciting.
For more information on healthy lifestyles for young people, contact the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service.
Source: Isaac Hilpp, senior extension specialist
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.