Lions and tigers and bears (and sugar)…oh my! Halloween is known to bring out the sweet-toothed animal in us all. How do parents balance the desire to celebrate the day with the knowledge that organizations like the American Heart Association are advocating that school children engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, and preferably all days of the week? And on the nutritional front, they encourage increased consumption of whole grains and reduced consumption of refined grains and sugar-sweetened beverages and foods. What’s a parent to do? Try these tips from the American Heart Association for a healthier Hallows Eve this year:
• Have a healthy meal before you go trick-or-treating to reduce temptation to snack while walking
• Make trick-or-treating a workout. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to or wear pedometers and have healthy prizes for the person who has the most steps
• Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100% juice juice-boxes, snack-sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, or coupons to local frozen yogurt stores
• Find the right-sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillowcase method
Follow these suggestions to have a healthy post-Halloween:
• Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery stores after Halloween. The decision not to buy something once is a lot easier than saying no every time you walk by the candy jar
• Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for five days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack like a an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts
• “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity like a day at the zoo or an ice skating adventure
To learn more about healthy eating, visit www.heart.org.

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