Every year on October 31st, children gather in the streets to trick-or-treat. Along with costumes and parties, candy plays a massive role in this holiday. So how do you approach eating Halloween candy, and how do you decide how much is too much? Many factors should go into this decision based on you and your child.
Recommended sugar allowance
The American Heart Association (AHA) says, “kids ages 2 to 18 should have less than 25 grams of sugar or 6 teaspoons of added sugar.” One way to stay within the guidelines is to be aware of the amount of sugar in popular Halloween candies. For example, in 6 pieces of starburst, there are 16 grams of sugar. One mini bar of snickers contains 8 grams of sugar, while one box of mini nerds contains 11 grams of sugar. This equates to about 2-3 servings of Halloween candy daily without any other daily added sugar. One way to stay within (or at least close to) the recommended daily allowance is to remove sugar from the rest of the day’s food. This way, even if you go over a bit, it won’t be accumulated with other foods as well.
Create rules for yourself around daily amounts of candy. There are a few options. First, you can decide to eat whatever you want but throw out everything else after 1 week. This allows the fun of Halloween to last but gives a limit. Think of it as making a vacation with candy rather than a lifestyle. Another option is to keep the candy until it is finished and allow only 1 piece per day. Finally, you can pick 10-20 of your favorite pieces and throw the rest out or give it away.
Everyone is different
There are certain groups of people who should be more aware of how much extra candy and sugar they are putting into their bodies. For those who are diabetic, this is a distinct group that should not overindulge in Halloween candy. Additionally, people with ADD/ADHD or other concentration disorders should be especially aware of how much sugar they put into their bodies. Sugar affects everyone differently, so take it one piece at a time and listen to your body.
There is no right answer in terms of how much candy each person or child should eat on Halloween. Taking a moderate approach is generally the best way to go about it. Be aware of the daily sugar intake guidelines, and try to avoid eating sugars along with Halloween candy to create a healthy balance. For more information, please contact 508.658.0764