When it comes to Halloween, parents see themselves as responsible to limit their children’s candy intake, yet a new survey published to Daily Mail Online Oct. 25, shows adults have a tough time themselves refraining from indulging in Halloween treats.
According to the survey from the National Confectioners Association, when it comes to choosing which candies to offer trick-or-treaters, more than 60% of adults admit to purchasing their own personal favorites. Though the initial objective may be to give it away, having favorite treats easily accessible can provide added challenges for those struggling to stick to a healthy diet.
Trick-or-treating is still the most popular Halloween activity for American households: nearly three-fourths of survey respondents named it a key activity of their Halloween celebration, either by handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, and/or preparing or escorting children out into the neighborhood to trick-or-treat.
While 41% of parents surveyed say they take it upon themselves to regulate their child’s post trick-or -treat candy consumption to a couple of pieces a day until the candy runs out, 81% of parents admitted that they take candy from their children’s Halloween candy haul for their own enjoyment (with 26 % admitting that they sneak treats after the children go to bed or school).
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta found the average trick-or-treater collects up to 60 pieces of fun-size candy on Halloween night, which is equivalent to 4,800 calories, one-and-a-half cups of fat, and three cups of sugar. Since over one-third of U.S. adults and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) children and adolescents are considered obese (Centers for Disease Control), it is critical for families to adopt strategies for healthy trick-or-treating and to avoid post overindulgence:
1. Plan ahead and consider how to provide healthier trick-or-treat options: Think pretzels, stickers, pencils, plastic spider rings, etc., as well as sweets with higher nutritional value like dark chocolate and candies with nuts.
2. Prep a Meal in Advance: Sending kids out trick-or-treating on a full stomach decreases the chance from binging on goodies when they get home, and parents from sneaking too many treats after they go to bed.
3. Provide Expectations: Parents can initiate conversations with children in advance to set expectations about how many pieces of candy will be eaten; making it a family agreement will help adults in the house to also not overindulge.
4. Don’t Buy treats until the last minute, and purchase your least favorite to help avoid temptation.
Kids are open to other types of Halloween fun, which makes it easier for adults to implement a positive example: According to a Medical News Today study while the majority of American children participate in trick-or-treating, 89 percent reported they would still like Halloween if it was less about candy and more about other types of fun. Websites such as this multi-town one for Connecticut can provide a list of fun trick-or-treating alternative activities that won’t compromise the family’s waist line.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Easy Tips to Avoid Halloween Weight Gain, Skinny Fiber. Coby Hunt, Oct. 25
Kids Recognize That They Eat Too Much Candy During Halloween, Medical News Today, Kelly Fitzgerald. Oct 25.
AMERICANS CHOOSE CHOCOLATE AS THEIR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN TREAT, National Confectioners Association (NCA), Contact: Susan Whiteside, Sept. 17.