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Halloween is a favorite holiday for many kids, with fun decorations, playful costumes and, of course, lots of candy.

While we all love seeing our kids’ excitement as they collect their favorite candy while trick-or-treating, it's crucial to remember the important health implications of enjoying sweets in moderation.

“It's really important to prevent your children from binging on candy,” says Dr. David Shaker, Internal Medicine physician at Holy Name Medical Center. “They may crave it, but the goal should be to help them recognize that giving in to that craving isn’t good.”

Here are some tips on how to have fun on Halloween while keeping your child’s health in mind:

1. Prioritize Healthy Meals: Before heading out for trick-or-treating, ensure your children have a balanced meal. A full stomach can reduce the temptation to excessively snack on candy.

2. Embrace Moderation: Set limits on the amount of candy your kids can have each day. This not only prevents overindulgence but can also make the fun of the holiday last longer.

3. Choose Quality Over Quantity: Encourage your children to pick their top 5 favorite candies and get rid of the rest. This can reduce their overall sugar intake and encourages them to slow their consumption.

4. Share and Donate: Use excess candy to highlight the joy of sharing. Consider donating some of their candy to local charity serving disadvantaged kids or to a non-profit that sends care packages to deployed military personnel.

5. Time Candy Consumption: Designate specific times for eating candy, such as after dinner or as an occasional treat after completing homework during the week. Avoid constant snacking throughout the day.

6. Remember Dental Hygiene: Don't forget the importance of dental care. Encourage your children to floss and brush their teeth immediately after indulging in candy.

7. Stay Active: After Halloween, make a point to pair physical activity with your kids candy consumption. Family walks, bike rides, or playing in the park are great ways to burn off the extra calories.

The holiday can also serve as an opportunity to teach pre-teens and teen children the value of reading nutrition labels and understanding the sugar content in foods. This empowers them to make informed choices on their own.

“We know that, over time, consuming too much sugary candy and foods increases the risk of diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity,” Dr. Shaker adds. “So, it’s important to show children that trick-or-treating can be enjoyed without overindulging.”

Halloween is a special time for children, and with the right guidance, they can have fun without compromising their health.

To schedule an appointment with a Holy Name physician, call 201-343-6360 or click here to book online.