With fall’s arrival and a new school year beginning, kids grow more excited by the day for October. Halloween is their exciting night of costumes and candy, and a favorite fall event for many kids. Deciding on which fun costume to wear and what doorbells to ring is an enjoyable part of the holiday for children. But at the end of the night, your little ones may bring home much more candy than they need. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to think about enjoyable alternatives to sugary treats that will encourage your children to trade in their Halloween candy for healthier rewards.
Laying the foundation for healthy habits when your children are young, and reinforcing them consistently, sets kids up to have good habits about dental hygiene and nutrition. By making these habits a fun, personal choice for your kids, you can help encourage them to choose healthier alternatives. Instead of throwing away this year’s Halloween candy, you can implement a candy trade-in to keep the amount of sweets in their possession to a minimum. Children who see their pediatric dentist regularly know that good dental hygiene is important, and holidays are a good time to reinforce these healthy habits in positive ways. Coming together to have time as a family, participating in activities your children will enjoy, are all rewarding alternatives to sweets.
Perhaps you can offer fun activities or even new toys in exchange for a portion of their Halloween candy. Planning a trip to the zoo with a parent, a special family night spent watching movies or playing board games, or offering a new stuffed animal can all be ways to reinforce to your children that not having sweets doesn’t mean they won’t get to have enjoyable things during the holidays. Additionally, making handmade coupons for special outings and activities will give your children something personal and fun to hold onto after turning in their candy for a healthier option. Taking time for crafts with children who enjoy making things with their hands is another wonderful activity they can trade in candy for.
For the more science-curious children, Candy Experiments are a great way to put holiday candy to good use. Any science experiments in the home should always be done with adult supervision, but the candy experiments at the CandyExperiments.com website are a great way for your kids to learn a little about chemistry and feel like their Halloween candy was put to a good use. By making fun activities an option to trade in their candy for, parents can model how making healthy choices can still be fun and rewarding.
In the end, it’s truly up to parents to show their kids that moderation with sweets and remembering proper dental hygiene isn’t a boring chore, but a wonderful way to keep their smiles healthy and bright. Any candy children are allowed to keep should be eaten in appropriate serving sizes, and followed immediately by brushing and flossing.
And as Dr. Cobb always says: good oral hygiene habits, combined with healthy food choices and bi-annual checkups, are the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Happy Halloween!