Food for Thought: Halloween health

Dietitians inform parents about how they can make smart decisions among mounds of sugary sweets.

Dietitians inform parents about how they can make smart decisions among mounds of sugary sweets. (10/27/13)

BROOKLYN - With Halloween just around the corner, parents and children countrywide are prepping costumes and containers for a wave of candy.

Dietitian Jessica Shapiro says it's important to let children have fun on Halloween, but letting them indulge in too much prolonged candy consumption can be harmful. She says problems really arise when a child is eating the same candy for several months following Halloween.

Shapiro says one smart way to combat this is to put two or three pieces of candy in a small bag, and allow a child only one bag per day. This allows the children to pick up their own bag and discover portion control at a young age.

She also suggests using the candy as a currency and allowing children to trade in candy for a small toy or a trip to the movies.

Shapiro says parents who allow their children to keep the candy should ensure that dark chocolate stays in the mix. She says to especially eliminate the fruity candies, because their high sugar content can damage teeth.

Some mothers say they make their children stay away from things that get stuck in their teeth, like caramel, or candies that can be a choking hazard.

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