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Happy Halloween! As a parent I enjoy seeing my three kids get excited to go out and get all the goodies from trick or treating. Afterwards they love to come home and sort through all their goodies, which leads them to ask, "Can I have some candy?"

Oh yes, Halloween sweets and treats are here again. For parents and caregivers, we tend to find ourselves feeling overwhelmed with how to regulate giving it to our kids. Below are some tips to help guide you and your kids to make the sweets still a special treat but not become an everyday battle.

  • Sort through and pick your favorites: When trick or treating is all done, sit down with your children(s) and have them make two piles: favorite treats and not-so-favorite treats. Decide what to do with the no-so-favorite treats; can we give them away, sell them (a local dentist will buy candy and then send them to our troops), or should we just throw them out (sounds harsh but if they are not that good, why hold on to them?).
  • Practice the 80-20 rule: We eat for two reasons: food keeps us alive and it tastes good. Strive to balance these two with the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of your day should be everyday foods such as your three main meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner and healthy snacks between. These meals/snacks should be made up of our five food groups: Grains, fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy. The 20 percent should be sometime foods. Example would be one fun size candy bar with lunch or after dinner. That’s it. It makes it more special this way, something to look forward to.
  • Practice mindful eating: Sweet treats like Halloween candy is a great way to help your kids practice mindful eating. When they have the candy, have them eat it at the table and use the senses of smell, sight, taste. Have them take one bite and before they swallow it ask them to give description of what it tastes like: do they like the sweetness, is it creamy and do they like the different textures like nuts or caramel that might be in it. By doing this, it helps the child stay present and find more satisfaction of just one serving.

Hopefully these pointers will help make this Halloween season a more manageable time of year with the overload of sweets and treats!

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