For some, Halloween is the best day of the year. Everyone dresses up in festive—and mostly scary—costumes. Horror movies frighten innocent TV watchers at every commercial break and there’s no lack of sugary sweets to be had. But, for parents, navigating the slippery slope of trick-or-treating can be challenging. You want to ensure your child has fun, but their health and safety are important. If you’re wondering what to eat on Halloween, we’ve got you covered.
What to Eat on Halloween – Trick-or-Treating Tips for Parents:
Eat before you treat — This is a great rule of thumb for adults and kids alike. Young trick-or-treaters and those who are inclined toward sugary substances need this important reminder before heading out into the neighborhood to collect treats.
Eating a solid meal before trick-or-treating will fill up your child, preventing the desire for snacking, but that’s not the only benefit! It also gets the saliva flowing, which will help prevent cavities.
Set some rules — It’s easy to slip into a pattern of indulgence trying a succulent sweet here and there while going door-to-door. Set ground rules for the number of treats allowed during the neighborhood rounds. It will go a long way in protecting your child’s teeth.
Determining a number ahead of time, or even prohibiting the eating of treats until returning home, will ensure good oral health maintenance. If candy is consumed while trick-or-treating, make sure it isn’t something sticky. Sugar that stays on teeth for a long period of time can result in cavities.
Stick to water — Since Halloween is already a night of sugar, consider skipping the sodas, pops, sports drinks, and juices, and stick to water. There’s no need to increase the already high amount of sugar in the mouth unless you want to increase the risk of tooth decay.
Brush and floss — When all of the scaring and eating and pumpkin carving and costumes is over with, make sure to end the night with a good two minutes spent brushing those teeth. We’ve already mentioned how bad sugar is for those pearly whites. Brushing will make sure that anything left over is cleaned from the mouth. Skipping this step equals an increased risk of cavities.
Hand out tooth-friendly items — Let’s face it, no kid is truly excited to receive an apple at someone’s house on Halloween. But, sometimes providing a healthier alternative can go a long way to prevent caries and harmful bacteria from running amok.
If you don’t want to hand out fruit, consider certain sugar-free items, like gum with xylitol, instead. These treats don’t contain harmful sugars and will increase the production of saliva, thus protecting the mouth.
Learn more about proper oral health techniques here.