2012-10-18 / Lifestyles

TOPS offers Halloween tips

MILWAUKEE – TOPS Club, Inc. (Take off Pounds Sensibly), a nonprofit weight-loss support organization, is offering tips for parents during the Halloween season.

Set guidelines

Before the day of trick-ortreating, discuss with your kids the quantity and frequency they can consume sweets and where they will be stored, so there are no surprises on Halloween. Having kids help set the candy parameters will teach portion control and how to incorporate treats into their everyday lives. Perhaps, a few extra sweets can be had on Halloween, but are limited to three pieces of candy each day following – and only after they’ve finished a nutritious meal. You can even divide the candy into portioned bags, so it’s clear what your kids are allowed to eat.

Have a conversation

Halloween is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about healthy eating. Make sure to cover nutrition basics and the importance of physical activity, explaining how sweet treats can fit into their healthy habits. It is an important lesson about moderation and will help children to understand and make healthy lifestyle choices at an early age, so, hopefully, they won’t struggle in the future.

Choose favorites

The kids are going to collect numerous types of candy – suckers, chocolates, gummies, and other confections. Some treats they’ll love, and others they’ll be able to live without. When they get home from trick-or-treating, have them sort their candy into two piles: their favorite and non-favorite treats. It demonstrates to children that they don’t have to eat every piece they receive just because it’s there. Less favorite treats can be saved for the future or given away. Let them help make the decision.

Serve healthy meals

To help curb snacking while they collect candy, serve a hearty, balanced snack or meal before they leave. Also, encourage children to wait until they get home to eat any of the goodies.

Lead by example

Be a role model for children and mindful of the amount of candy you’re consuming, too. You may struggle with regulating your candy intake, but if you’re trying to teach your kids about self-control and healthy eating, it’s important that you practice these behaviors. You can also set an example for the rest of the neighborhood by handing out healthier treats – trail mix, sugar-free gum, microwave popcorn, granola bars, graham crackers, raisins, bouncy balls, yo-yos, sidewalk chalk, and other goodies.

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