Halloween can be a tricky time when trying to balance healthy kids and healthy habits, and total mouth health can be one of the toughest challenges, especially for parents of children with braces, cavities, or other mouth concerns.
Keeping the Sweet in Treats!
Even while working on maintaining good oral hygiene and building good mouth habits, you can be the hero to your little goblins with a lot more yes’s than no’s. Here’s a few tips to help everyone stay balanced this Halloween:
1. Start your evening with a balanced meal. Kids with full tummies are less likely to be snacking along the way. Think protein for the neighbourhood walk energy, and hearty carbs for full bellies. Try our Zombie Explosion: gluten free pappardelle pasta with meatballs – tip: when assembling homemade meatballs, swap half of the meat with finely chopped mushrooms and shredded zucchini… veggies without the fuss. You can even add a few eyeball candy to the plate if you’re really creative!
2. Equip your ghoulish imps with small candy collection bags (gone must be the days of collecting candy with pillowcases!). You can easily purchase traditional pumpkin candy buckets from dollar stores and decorate them with your child so that they are personal. This way, if they do come across those pillowcase-halloween-ers, they won’t feel like they are missing out if their candy bucket has their personalized glow in the dark stickers, streamers hanging from it, or custom-painted.
3. Set a limit and stick within it. Yes, cliché… but moderation is often the key to many a successful habits in life. Have a set time for candy collection in your neighbourhood, and then have something fun waiting at home. Maybe a spooky dance party with siblings, or a favourite movie. Watch the clock, and head home at the right time. Help your child avoid the greedy little temptation for more more more!
4. Go through all of your Halloween treats with your child and have them pick out all of their favs and throw away the rest. This trick does two things – it helps the child to let go of the treats as “not necessary”, and also helps to condition them to realize that, just because it’s available, doesn’t mean they need to consume it. Again… balance and moderation.
5. And finally, spread your treats out! Enjoy them as a part of dessert after a full and balanced meal, as a part of family game nights, or for any other set-aside time. In addition to this great habit of self-control, you also let the treats last longer, and spread them out so that not all of that sugar-y goodness ends up stuck between their teeth on the same night.
Halloween with Braces can be Sweet
“Halloween candy can be a nightmare for someone who wears braces, but it doesn’t have to be. Trick-or-treaters who wear braces should avoid nuts, popcorn, tortilla chips, hard candy, caramel and other chewy candies to keep their braces safe and intact. However, there are plenty of other things that trick-or-treaters who wear braces can enjoy, like chocolate!”
~ The Canadian Dental Association
It’s OK to play with your food!
And finally, here’s a few spooky treats for your Littles… as with all habit-building around food, it’s ok to play! Try leading up to your sweet treat day with some of these fruity Frankenstein treats (and have them available alongside those sugar-y treats come family game night):
- 3 Ingredient Halloween Apple Bites
- How to Make Monster Apple Mouths
- Monster Burger Recipes
- No-Bake Vampire Donuts