We all want our kids to have fun on Halloween. Didn’t we, growing up? Trick-or-treating, going to costume parties, toilet-papering the neighbor’s house (Oops…did I just admit to that? You might want to discourage this last one!). However, we also want them to be safe and healthy. Too much candy can rot our kids’ teeth and negatively affect their health. How many fillings or other dental work have you had since being a kid to know that this is true? Not taking proper precautions when sending kids out trick-or-treating can also be unwise when it comes to their safety.
Here, we’ll talk about some fun, healthy Halloween ideas to help keep your kids safe and healthy, while allowing them to have a lot of good, holiday fun!
Step 1: Teach Your Kids These Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating
- Always go with a buddy (if not with Mom and Dad)
- Never go inside a stranger’s house
- Carry a flashlight to see where you’re walking
- Drink plenty of water
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Have a cell phone in case you need to call Mom and Dad
- Candy in moderation. Wait to examine and eat your candy until you get home to go through it with Mom and Dad
- Have FUN!
The tips listed above are primarily for kids you feel comfortable sending with their friends. However, these are important tips to start teaching even your littler ones when you go trick-or-treating with them.
Step 2: Go Through Candy Bags with Kids
- Help your kids see what candy is good and bad for teeth. Separate them out.
If there’s a candy they love but it’s not the best for their teeth, let them have it but teach them the importance of “candy in moderation” when doing so. Denying them their favorite candies could lead to more problems later on. They may try to sneak that candy in when you’re not paying attention or develop an addiction to it once they leave home since they weren’t allowed to have it growing up. It’s important that they take these lessons with them and really understand your sound reasoning behind them.
- Let them pick out good (mostly healthy) candy they want to keep and then donate or freeze the rest.
- Instruct them on how and when they should eat their candy:
- At treat time. Designate a time in the day when they can have a treat; we recommend during meal times when saliva flow is at a high and can help fight against tooth decay.
- While drinking water to help fight against bacteria that promotes tooth decay.
- By rinsing their mouth with water or mouthwash after eating candy and then remembering to brush 30 minutes to an hour later.
Step 3: Encourage Kids to Maintain Their Normal Dental Routine
Help your kids stick to their normal dental routine. Make teeth-brushing fun so they won’t resist brushing. One way to do this is by letting them pick out a fun new toothbrush around Halloween so they’ll get excited about brushing their teeth!
Another important aspect of encouraging kids to maintain their normal dental routine is to make sure you’re scheduling their regular dental checkups so their dentist can examine and clean their teeth. If you don’t have a dentist or a way of paying for this care, see one of our discount dental plans to help make your family’s dental care affordable.
Step 4: Set the Example
With Halloween’s trick-or-treating tradition also comes Halloween parties. Whether you’re having one, your child’s class is hosting one or your kids’ friends are inviting them to one, try out some of these healthy and fun Halloween recipes everyone will love:
For more of these fun recipes, see “64 Non-Candy Halloween Snack Ideas.”
Let Them Have Fun!
Halloween is a fun and exciting time for kids. And even though this holiday can be risky for your kids’ health and teeth, there are many ways to let them have fun while also protecting them from the dangers of too much Halloween candy!
What are some ways you have helped make your kids’ Halloween fun but also safe and healthy? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Most kids will happily eat their entire bag of candy on Halloween. This is good for no one! Please, let them have a few of their favorite pieces but ration out the rest over the coming weeks so they don’t eat so much sugar they can’t stand!