Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Halloween candy: How much is too much?

Date:
October 15, 2012
Source:
Saint Louis University Medical Center
Summary:
As we enter the sweet season, parents are worried kids might indulge their way to obesity by gobbling up too many Halloween candy. But having a little fun with candy once a year will not lead to childhood obesity, says a pediatrics expert.

As we enter the sweet season, parents are worried kids might indulge their way to obesity by gobbling up too many Halloween candy. But having a little fun with candy once a year will not lead to childhood obesity, says Ken Haller, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University.

Halloween is a social time and kids want to be a part of their peer group by enjoying the perks of the holiday season. Haller says it's OK for parents to allow their kids to be part of this holiday spirit.

"Eating candy on Halloween is like taking a vacation, kids should not make it a habit," said Haller. "After the holiday they should feel like they have had enough candy and be willing to go back to their regular diet."

Haller says a parent should be in charge of deciding how many candy kids can have during Halloween. While eating candy are an important part of the culture and socialization during this holiday, parents also do not want their kids to end up in hospital emergency rooms with tummy aches.

An important lesson to teach kids this holiday season, Haller says, is eating in moderation. When kids come back from their grand trick or treating rounds, parents can go through their load of candy, portion them out, save some for the week, while freezing the rest for later. Parents should also feel free to knock out the ones that are very high in calories, especially ones with high fructose corn syrup content.

"Parents can have a discussion about this. Kids don't have to eat everything that comes back with them," Haller said. "None of these candy are wildly unhealthy or poisonous, they are just not nutritious."

If parents don't want their kids to eat all the candy at once, they can playfully communicate the message to them and avoid being strict about it. Kids want to know parents are on their side and are more likely to listen to them if they are positive about it.

"If parents are pleasant, upbeat and enthusiastic about how much candy their kids can have, kids might accept what they are advocating," Haller said.

Another way to minimize the amount of sweets kids eat is for parents to introduce them to the concept of sharing.

"Halloween candy can be used to teach kids an important ethical lesson -- we need to share with the ones who don't have what we do," Haller said. "This practice of sharing can be an introduction to Thanksgiving and then Christmas."

Lastly, it never hurts to remind kids about healthy dental habits. Haller says Halloween can be a good time to reinforce in kids a daily habit of brushing their teeth.

"Halloween is a great time for parents to buy their kids a brand new toothbrush," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University Medical Center. "Halloween candy: How much is too much?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015151159.htm>.
Saint Louis University Medical Center. (2012, October 15). Halloween candy: How much is too much?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015151159.htm
Saint Louis University Medical Center. "Halloween candy: How much is too much?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015151159.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins