Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween is all about eating candy. There's no way to avoid it!

Answer: Halloween CAN be about more than eating candy.
Make Halloween about choosing healthy foods and being active. Consider these ideas:

1) Halloween can teach moderation in the foods we eat. Talk to your kids about balancing healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, whole grains, lean meat, fish and poultry and beans with small portions of foods with sugar and candy. When your child comes back from trick or treating, look to see what chocolate candies they have in their treat bag. Here are some calorie count comparisons:

1 fun size candy bar or package = about 80 - 90 calories, 1 bite size candy bar = about 50 calories. 1 regular size candy bar can be about 200 - 300 calories. A king size bar may be 400 - 500 calories.

Talk with your child about how to balance eating healthy low fat, low sugar foods with these treats.

2) Halloween can be about being active as a family. Trick or treating can be a family event. Make this family time ACTIVE time. If you have a pedometer, have your child put it on before trick or treating. Look at the number of steps the pedometer records after trick or treating. Use the University of Missouri Extension's MyActivity Pyramid Log for Kids to help your child log time spent walking while trick or treating. Help your child to keep logging the amount of time spent in other physical activities during the week.

3) Halloween can be learning about what is in our food. How much sugar is in the treats that your child brought home? Search the web to find the nutrition information for candy in your child's Halloween stash. Look at the sugar information on the Nutrition Facts label - find it under Total Carbohydrate on the label. Here is an interactive Nutrition Facts label to help you locate it. 4 grams equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. Together with your child, look at different candies and compare the number of teaspoons of sugar in the candies.

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