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Halloween is celebrated by wearing costumes, going trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses and attending parties. It's also one of the biggest days of candy consumption in the United States. For many children, Halloween is all about "hauling in the sweets." Americans purchase 600 million pounds of candy a year for Halloween and eat 1.2 pounds (0.5 kilograms) on the actual date.
I didn't remember how much candy means to children until I was recently reminded by my 8-year-old granddaughter. She mentioned that she was looking forward to the high school homecoming parade which goes by her house. She doesn't know anyone attending the high school, so I asked her why she wanted to see the parade — for the candy thrown out on the parade route, of course!
I don't think we can take candy out of the Halloween celebration equation. But as parents, grandparents, and health-conscious individuals, we may be able to provide some moderation and healthier alternatives.
I remember trying to use some psychology with my own son when it came to treats at home. If he wanted a treat, I would ask him to choose between an orange and an apple instead of the less healthy snack he wanted. Initially, he'd make a choice between the apple and the orange. But, eventually he caught on, so it only worked for a limited time.
For times when that trick doesn't work, here are some tips from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation:
What ideas do you have or have you used to help make Halloween healthier but still fun for children?
Have a spooktacular Halloween!
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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How about unsalted peanuts in the shell - you could add math - how many peanuts in the shells ?
GIVE EVERYONE DOING THIS 1 PIECE OF HALLOWEEN CANDY.
KEEP IT TEAL is a program offered for children with food allergies. Participants in KEEP IT TEAL put a teal painted pumpkin in front of their home. Parents then know that the residents there offer non-food trick or treat items.
KEEP IT TEAL sounds like a program that parents of diabetic children may want to look into.
We are offering glow items as alternatives to candy. Other ideas are stickers, pencils special marker, or colored pen.
Look up KEEP IT TEAL on the internet to get more information.
Having been a person with Type I Diabetes for 61 years, I have had some experience in the area. I totally agree that POPCORN is a great Halloween treat, especially making more than one different kind, since there are so many seasonings available.
Another item that has come to my attention is a high protein granola bar made by NATURE VALLEY: PEANUT BUTTER AND DARK CHOCOLATE. It contains only 14 grams of carb and 6 gms of sugar, along with 10 gms of protein and 12 gms of fat. It is readily available at COSTCO stores on the West Coast.
One more recipe that works for a quick snack: FROZEN BANANAS. Method includes cutting a banana into 5 pieces (on the diagonal to afford wider surface area) and dipping into a mixture of unsweetened dark cocoa powder and cinnamon. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze.
My husband is diabetic and it was bothering him a lot that we would have candy in the house that he likes. He found small bags of Halloween pretzels! Now we can give out a treat and not have something "bad" for him at the house if there are leftovers!
thank you very much for this information.
i found the Russel Stover sugar free candies are wonderful.My whole family likes them even though i am the only person in my family with diabetes.they made great Halloween give out candies
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