Moderation Key for Kids this Halloween
Harry Jackson Jr.
Posted October 24, 2012
Pediatrician Dr. Ken Haller wants to assure parents that some candy on Halloween isn't terrible.
"Every now and then we can have extra treats and it's not going to ruin your diet or cause any major upheavals," says Haller, who's with Glennon Children's Medical Center and an associate professor of pediatrics with St. Louis University School of Medicine.
"I think it's great that so many parents are concerned about nutrition," Haller said. "And when children go out for Halloween, they think it's a bad example. So I say to parents lighten up; once a year is not going to cause problems."
Also, the season puts pressure on kids. Children in kids' circles who don't have any candy from Halloween are there with kids who do, he said.
"If kids don't eat any candy, it makes it all the more tempting to sneak it at other times," Haller said.
"What's important is for parents to go through the bag with their kids when they get home. Parents can make decisions about what candies children can have tonight and parcel them out over time. Some can go in the freezer for later and some can go in the trash."
Haller also warned, don't overdo it, either.
"One of the biggest days in the office is Nov. 1 when kids come in with stomach aches from eating too much candy," he said. "Help kids by discussing which ones do they want tonight and which ones tomorrow."
A last caution, while inventorying the day's candy, separate out the "taffyish type of candy, Haller said. "That's sticky, it sticks to teeth, it can easily pull out fillings.
"So parents have to redouble the emphasis on good oral hygiene," he said. "Halloween is a great time to buy your kids a new toothbrush."
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