The doorbell rings. The door opens slowly to find pirates, princesses and pumpkins with outstretched arms shouting, “Trick or Treat!”These welcomed guests wait with anticipation to see if one of their favorite treats will be added to their bounty. This annual tradition of celebrating TREATS actually provides a teachable moment to model balance and moderation. Consider the following tips this Halloween.
Before treat collection begins, it’s good to talk to your children about how much candy they can eat at a time and when they can eat it. Consider including the treat as part of a balanced meal or snack (for example, milk and a piece of candy for a mid-day snack or dessert to end a meal).This gives you an opportunity to talk about how candy and snack foods are treats- something to enjoy in small amounts.
When your Trick or Treater returns home with their treasures, empty the loot together and sort the treats into favorites and not so favorites piles. This presents an opportunity to talk about choosing to eat something you really enjoy for a“treat allowance.”Encourage offering the not so favorite pile to another family member, neighbor or friend. Gather the favorites pile and put it in a visible spot in the house. For the next several days your child can enjoy one of their goodies when and how you agreed to in your pre-Trick or Treat talk.
(see also Satisfying Your Picky Eater)
No matter what lands in the goody bag, it’s more than likely a snack-sized package. These perfectly portioned treats allow us to enjoy a small bite or two of our favorite flavors without going overboard. When sorting through the Halloween treasures, use it as a Together CountsTM teaching moment and point out that snack size portions are a great way to enjoy candy as part of balanced meals or snacks. By choosing small packages, you can have your carrots and candy too!
Make the Halloween season more than costumes and candy. Create memorable experiences and traditions that focus on friends and family. Trick or treating is one of many ways to celebrate the season– makeholiday decorations, host a harvest party, pick pumpkins and apples orplan festive family meals.
With tips in hand for providing teachable moments throughout Halloween happiness…your family can Eat, Drink and be Scary – in moderation!
Allison Kleinfelter, MS, the Wellness Strategy & Communications Manager for The Hershey Company, wrote this post for Together Counts on behalf of The Moderation Nation. Allison has 12 years of experience in planning and evaluating health promotion programs and has been a contributor on numerous national and state plans for obesity prevention and related chronic disease. Before joining Hershey, Allison led the Center for Nutrition & Physical Activity at Penn State and consulted on a number of national projects including launching the Nation’s first Physical Activity Plan.
The Hershey Company is committed to supporting consumer and community well-being through its programs, products, nutrition science and innovation, and employee wellness initiatives, which promote a balanced lifestyle.To find more tips for Balanced Eating, Activity & Play and Work & Life Balance visit www.themoderationnation.com.
For seasonal craft ideas visit Celebrate Halloween with HERSHEY’S.
More Together Counts tips on balanced eating: