This Halloween, the trick for parents will be treating their children in moderation.
Jamie Pronschinske, registered dietitian with Mayo Health System, said children can load up on candy, but parents should limit their added sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of their total calories. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that is about 12 teaspoons of sugar.
“I would recommend parents probably limit to maybe one or two small candy bars, like a serving size, I think would be appropriate,” Pronschinske said.
Short term, indulging on candy can cause a stomach ache, but long term consequences can include weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, according to Pronschinske.
Despite sugar concerns, she said healthy living doesn’t have to kill all the fun.
“Halloween only comes one time a year,” Pronschinske said. “Allowing your kid to partake in festivities and allowing them to have candy I think is part of a healthy overall eating pattern. I would still say practice moderation.”
Pronchinske recommended limiting candy before bedtime or after kids have brushed their teeth to prevent cavities.
She also had ideas for alternatives to candy that could include stickers, pencils, games, bouncy balls, 100 percent juice boxes, fruit cups packed in real fruit juices, nuts, or even single-servings of fruits.