Halloween is a time of great fun! With “trick or treat” being the pinnacle of holiday spirit for most children, many parents are worried about their children consuming so much candy and sugar in such a short time. If you are worried about your children’s health being affected by all that candy – you have good reasons. But you can’t take away the holiday spirit from a child, can you?
So we made a short list of the best and the worst treat idea, a couple of healthier options and 5 tricks to help you manage the influx of sugar!
Treats – the sweet, the sour, the bitter and the better!
The worst options for Halloween treats and candy
Hard candy (lollipops) – hard candy that lingers in the mouth for a long time is one of the worst things for your teeth. It can also scratch the gums and damage the teeth, causing cracks and even break teeth.
Sour candy – sour candy is very acidic and may damage the tooth enamel. It’s best to minimize consumption of sour candies and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic candies.
Chewy / Sticky candy (caramel, gummy worms, toffee) – the chewy candies are the worst of the worst. They stick to the teeth, penetrate the crevices between teeth and get stuck there for a long time. Brushing your teeth is not enough to get rid of those. You need to also floss, which most children don’t like very much.
Cookies & sugary snacks – anything with lots of sugar and flour (yes flour too!) is bad. These things tend to penetrate crevices between the teeth and stay there for a long time.
The best options for Halloween treats and candy
Chewing gum – surprisingly, chewing gum isn’t so bad for the teeth. In fact, if you opt for sugar free chewing gum (but beware of artificial sweeteners), it can even help dislodge stuck food and other candy left overs!
Dark Chocolate – many things have been written about dark chocolate. The darker and the bitter, the better – it is packed with anti-oxidants and well…it’s chocolate!
Healthier alternatives for Halloween treats
Homemade gummies – using some gelatin (great for the joints and bones, including teeth!!), fruit juice (natural please!) and fun molds, you can easily and quickly create healthy gummy snacks as treats! Color is natural, flavor is awesome and it’s full of vitamins and minerals!
We especially love the recipe from Wellness Mama.
Homemade dark chocolate – This one is even easier!! With some coconut oil, coconut butter, good quality cocoa powder and some honey/vanilla extract you can make your own chocolate!
The recipe is simple:
For each table spoon of coconut oil, add 1 table spoon of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of honey (or maple) and some vanilla extract. That’s the basic mix. From here you can go on to add coconut butter or regular butter, you can add spices like cinnamon, chili, salt… anything goes!
Mix, flatten on a cookie sheet or a praline mold and refrigerate until solid.
OR…. You can follow this recipe from the Wellness Mama.
Bliss Balls – These are the best “fake” chocolate balls that even kids love! All you need are pitted medjoul dates, nuts of your choice (cashew or macadamia work best), good quality cocoa – and that’s it! Blend until you can form balls, cover in cocoa or coconut flakes and enjoy!
You can search the web for dozens of recipes – even nut free ones, one with added ingredients and really… anything you can imagine.
But kids will be kids and we want them to enjoy the holiday, right? So what if they go trick or treating and come back with lots of candy?
5 tricks to minimize the damage of treats!
- Don’t deny treats – Don’t prevent your children from eating candy or getting treats. Instead, make a deal with them that they collect whatever they want, but they come home and together, you make a plan to make the treats last for a long time.
- One treat at a time – allow your kids to have one treat at a time. It can be one after every meal or one a day but no more than one. This way, the treats last longer and the teeth suffer less!
- Drink water between treats – If the kids insist or happen to eat more than just one treat, make sure they drink water and take a good sip of water between bites or between treats.
- Set a brushing & flossing schedule – although it is recommended to brush and floss after every meal, we understand that it’s not easy to keep up. Make sure your kids brush their teeth and floss before they go to bed, to clean out any candy residue from the day. Then in the morning make sure they brush again, so that their teeth are ready for the new day.
- Make brushing & flossing fun – This is the key to the entire strategy. Incorporate stories and games into the family’s oral care routine. Make the children floss for another piece of candy, create a leader board on the fridge to increase adherence – anything goes! And get them some fun, colorful, comfortable and easy to use Gummy Floss!