(StatePoint) Halloween ghouls may give kids a fright, but the buckets and bags of candy that come home can be equally scary for parents. With the abundance of sweet treats consumed on Halloween, not to mention the Thanksgiving pies and holiday cookies to come, now is the perfect time to teach your kids healthy habits, such as nutritious eating and good oral hygiene.
Here are some ideas for keeping things healthy while still having fun:
Candy Common Sense
Consider offering alternatives to candy on Halloween. Stickers, removable tattoos or bottles of bubbles will be a refreshing change for kids of all ages. Toys like jump ropes, hacky sacks or sidewalk chalk for hopscotch will encourage kids to be active while still having fun.
Of course, you won't be able to avoid candy completely. Let your kids indulge now and then. Enjoying treats in moderation will help your kids learn to savor the moment.
The Unsweet Tooth
Half of all American kids will have a cavity by age 10. The good news is that you can play a role in teaching your kids healthy oral care habits from an early age. Be a role model with your own oral health by brushing and flossing every day and encourage your kids to practice along with you. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents supervise children under seven.
Making brushing fun can encourage interdependence so kids become accustomed to their daily routines. Power toothbrushes, which typically remove more plaque than manual ones, can assist parents in teaching healthy brushing habits. Consider trying a toothbrush like the Philips Sonicare For Kids. It's simple to use and designed with two gripping locations so you can help your child brush. It also has a "KidTimer" to help children reach the dentist-recommended two-minute brushing time and musical tones indicating when it's time to move to a different area of the mouth. To learn more, visit sonicareforkids.philips.com.
On Halloween, offer your kids a healthy snack before they go trick-or-treating. Peanut butter and apple slices and a glass of low-fat milk will go a long way in keeping candy cravings at bay. Filling them with protein and fiber will leave less room for sweet treats that offer little nutritional value.
Halloween parties are a great new tradition that allows kids to stay safely off the streets while eating a moderate amount of sweets and getting exercise from fun and games. Just make sure you keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns away from high-traffic areas. Then join in the fun!
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