Fort Worth, Texas,
19:23 PM

4 tips for a healthier Halloween

A pediatrician offers advice on limiting sugar, while still making the day a treat

Your kids have baskets full of sugary candy after trick-or-treating. How can you let them have some sweets while trying to keep them healthy?

Limiting how much Halloween candy your kids eat isn't as tricky as it seems. Stop them from getting too much sugar with these tips:

1. Eat a healthy meal. Kids who fill up before going trick-or-treating or to a Halloween party are less likely to eat too much candy.

2. Remember you're in charge of setting limits. "I let my kids eat a few favorite pieces on Halloween night and then save the rest for later," said Kim Mangham, M.D., a pediatrician with Cook Cook Children's. "After a week of enjoying a few pieces of candy each day, we throw it away or freeze it."

3. Offer healthier treats. Hand out pieces of dark chocolate and small bags of popcorn, or avoid food altogether and give away small toys, pencils, erasers or stickers.

4. Focus on making memories. "Halloween is a fun, magical time," Dr. Mangham said. "Focus on costumes and decorations and play Halloween-themed games and spooky music rather than making it about the candy."

About the author

Kim Mangham, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician at 1601 Keller Parkway in Keller, Texas. She earned her medical degree at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She completed the pediatric residency program at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Her interests include breastfeeding education as well as disease and injury prevention. Dr. Mangham is board certified in pediatrics.

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