I love this time of year. You want to know why? I love everything about the pumpkin. I love how it looks. I love how it tastes. And I love roasted pumpkin seeds with all that flavor, fiber, zinc and Vitamin E. It’s a dietitian’s dream snack.
Let’s be honest. Not all snacks in October are chock full of nutrients. With pumpkins comes Halloween and with Halloween comes….CANDY! Because I work in the kid nutrition business parents frequently ask me, “How do I handle candy at Halloween?”. You have to do what is comfortable for you and your home. Here is a sampling of what many of the families I meet do:
1.) Let them eat candy: Let the kids eat the candy for as long as it takes for the supply to dwindle to nothing.
2.) Let them eat candy…for a few days: Allow the kids to eat a good hefty dose of candy on Halloween and a few pieces at snack times or after meals for about 5-7 days and then get rid of it.
3.) Let them eat candy…only on Halloween night: Kids can eat as much as they want only on Halloween night. After that, it’s over. The parents take the candy away through a wide variety of creative stories that involve some sort of Halloween fairy who removes the candy from the house and leaves a favorite toy.
I think families need to concentrate their nutritional efforts throughout the year and not focus so much on Halloween. If you do a good job of scheduled meals and snacks that are mostly healthy and delicious, candy will not hurt for a few days. Perhaps allowing the kids to pick 3 or 4 pieces per day is fine at scheduled meals and snacks until it is gone. If your kid has gobs and gobs of candy, my advice is to let them have some for a while and then donate the rest. Our fellow Americans overseas may enjoy some sweets. Check out these suggestions
However you decide to handle Halloween candy, I hope you think about more ways to eat and use the pumpkin in your home through the season. I wish you all Happy Halloween!