Whether you are planning to accompany your kids on their annual trick-or-treat adventure or hosting a Halloween party for the neighborhood, it is important to watch what goes into those collection bags and party bowls. Halloween may be a celebration of all things scary, but you do not have to feel frightened when you look at the candy your kids have collected.
Halloween is a great time for kids to enjoy some sweet snacks, and there is nothing wrong with letting them indulge. As a parent, however, it is important to monitor their candy consumption and place daily limits on the amount of sugar they eat. One way to do that is to dole out those trick-or-treat goodies over the next week or so.
Another is to separate their bounty into the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is a look at the best and worst Halloween goodies.
Halloween is all about sweet treats, but there are some delicious snacks that will not scare the parents of those trick-or-treaters. Here are some of the more desirable choices for Halloween giving.
. Sugar-free hard candy — They may not be your kid’s favorites, but sugar-free hard candies are best for your child’s teeth.
. Popcorn balls — Popcorn balls are a staple of Halloween, and a snack you can feel good about. Whether they are store bought or homemade, a popcorn ball is a delicious Halloween snack.
. Dark chocolate — Your child’s trick-or-treat bag will probably contain a lot of chocolate, but you might want to highlight the dark variety. Dark chocolate still has plenty of sugar, but it also contains lots of antioxidants and other healthy compounds.
. Chocolate-covered fruit — Chocolate-covered fruit is sweet and delicious, but it is also one of the best choices for trick-or-treat giving. Chocolate-covered raisins, orange slices and other fruits are a great alternative to traditional chocolate bars.
. Powdered candy — Powdered treats like candy straws may be comprised of pure sugar, but they also dissolve quickly in the mouth. They are not exactly good for your child’s teeth, but they are less damaging than many of the alternatives.
Some Halloween treats are scarier than others, so think carefully before filling those baskets. Here are some sweets that are best left off your Halloween shopping list.
. Caramels — It is easy to see why caramels made the bad list. Their texture means they tend to stick to the teeth, and that can make cavities and tooth decay more likely.
. Filled chocolates — Filled chocolates make the list for the same reason caramels do. They are sticky and tend to cling to the spaces between the teeth, paving the way to tooth problems and high dental bills.
. Toffee — Toffee may be delicious, but it is also particularly bad for your child’s teeth. Again, the sticky nature of the treat means the sugars will linger, leading to tooth decay and other dental problems.
. Gummy candy — Gummy candy takes a long time to eat, and that gives the sugar more times to permeate the teeth and stimulate the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Halloween is a time to indulge in some sweet treats, and a time for parents to worry about the oral health of their children. If you love costumes and trick-or-treat, but not cavities and dental bills, it pays to do your homework and learn about the best, and the worst, sweets for this special holiday.