Many kids look forward to Halloween because of all the candy they plan to get and eat – all while dressed up in fun costumes of their favorite characters.
Whether it be from personal experience or urban legends, Halloween candy can have a dubious reputation among adults. Here are seven tips that will help you navigate the best ways to enjoy this (unofficial) holiday safely.
1. Preparation is key
Kids should avoid snacking on candy while they are trick-or-treating. This can lead to overeating of candy. Instead, avoid starting to trick-or-treat time with an empty stomach. Have them eat a good, balanced meal before the evening activities to discourage intense snacking.
2. Inspect the candy
Although tampered candy is rare, a responsible adult should inspect all candy before children are allowed to eat it.
How to inspect Halloween candy
Look for these signs and discard the following:
- Unusual appearance
- Discoloration of candy
- Spoiled candy
- Unwrapped candy or candy that are not commercially wrapped
- Tiny pinholes or tears in the candy wrapper
Also, if there are any homemade candy or baked goods that you don’t know who gave it to the child, it should be discarded. If you have any doubts about something, discard it.
3. Teach children to refuse unwrapped candy
Although ideally all candy will be checked by a responsible adult before it is consumed by children, kids should be specifically told to not accept and most importantly, not eat any unwrapped candy. This is in case any of this makes it to their hands before an adult gets a chance to see it.
4. Get rid of choking hazards
Parents of small children should inspect candy additionally for choking hazards. These include
- Hard candy
- Tiny toys
5. Don’t eat it all in one night
Most children will eat candy infinitely if you let them. Make sure to portion out the candy for the following days (or weeks!) after Halloween to ensure that they are not overeating it.
6. Remove any allergenic treats
If your child has food allergies, during inspection make sure to check for the presence of their specific food allergen in the ingredients of the treats. Many candies contain, or have been manufactured in facilities that also handle peanuts, soy, wheat, etc.
Many candies come in not-for -resale packaging that does not list all the ingredients. If this is the case, you can search for the ingredients and allergy information online using the candy’s name, before giving it to your child. If you are unsure about the ingredients, discard it or give it to someone else.
7. Consider giving out non-candy treats
When planning to receive trick-or-treaters at your home, consider getting non-candy treats that you can give to visiting children like coloring books and crayons.
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