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              1. Le Scoop
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              girl dressed in superhero Halloween costume with trick-or-treat bag

              Spooky Season

              How To Handle Halloween Candy With Kids Eat in Color

              Halloween can turn even the sweetest of kids into candy-crazed ghouls. So we caught up with Jennifer Anderson, registered dietitian, mother of two, and founder and CEO of Kids Eat in Color, on her top tips to having a happy, healthy Halloween.

              Taylor Jewell
              Written By
              Jennifer Anderson

              Safety First And Then Don't Fret

              Help your child have a safe and fun Halloween. Eating candy while walking around in the dark has safety risks. It may be safest for your family to wait until you’ve checked the candy at home before you let your child eat it. That said, it may be best for your family to stop and safely enjoy some candy while you’re out and about. When you’re checking candy, remove any opened pieces of candy and anything that may be a choking or allergy hazard for your child. Choking hazards include hard candies, very chewy candies, and anything that can break off in chunks. Then you can enjoy the candy!

              Serve a Dinner with Plenty of Protein

              Kids on a sugar high are fun until they crash. Serving your child a meal with plenty of protein can help them not be as hungry for candy. Plenty of protein can also help your child have less of a sugar crash from additional candy.

              Decide How Much To Let Your Child Eat

              How you handle Halloween candy will be different for every family. In our house, the kids eat as much candy as they want, but we decide when “snack time” is over and it’s time for bed. This is best for us. Other families may decide that based on their child’s health or other family preferences, they will have a limit on the amount of candy their child can eat. You can do what is best for your family.

              If your child is younger than two, they may not know what they are missing. In that case, it’s great to give them another food they like such as freeze-dried strawberries, cut fruit, or a pouch if you’re out and about. Once they know about candy you can let them have some, but don’t rush it.

              Don't Put Candy On A Pedestal

              Ideally, we want kids to think of candy as any other food - nothing to binge on. Here are a few ways we can take candy off a pedestal:

              • Stop using candy as a reward or bribe
              • Don’t make kids finish their dinner to get dessert
              • Talk about candy using neutral words without making it sound special
              • Serve candy alongside other foods to make it more “normal”

              Not only can these strategies help reduce sugar obsessions, they can also help with picky eating! Making all foods equal makes kids more likely to try other foods.

              What To Do With the Leftovers

              When kids are little, you can often just put the candy out of sight and they forget about it. If that is the case for your child, you can move it on to someone else or enjoy it yourself!

              If you have an older child, you can decide how to handle it. When my kids were preschool age, I served a piece of candy for two with dinner for a few nights until they lost interest. Now that they are older, they generally want to eat all of their candy. I’ll continue to serve a hearty afternoon snack to them and also let them decide how much candy they want to eat as part of that snack.

              Again, every family will decide what is best for them. Sometimes things like Switch Witches, Candy buy-backs, or forced candy donations lead kids to thinking candy is a scarce food they need to binge on. If your child is feeling obsessed and worried that their candy will disappear, it might be helpful to let them keep it all and eat some regularly as part of your family’s eating routine.

              Engage, Don't Gorge

              Finally, enjoy some candy yourself! If you like candy, show your child how to savor the flavors. Sit down with your child, ask about the taste, texture, and color, and help everyone enjoy their candy as much as possible. It’s a great chance to connect with your child. It’s also a great way to help them tune in to how much they need to feel satisfied.