The Candy Debate – Kids vs. Parents

Mountains and mountains of candy is every kid’s dream when it comes to Halloween. Parents don’t want to steal their joy, but cringe at the thought of a mountain of sugar pouring into their children. Halloween does come around once a year, so there’s the candy debate, kids vs. parents.

For kids, there are no limits. For parents, the question is how much is too much?

Dr. Mary Mitchell, DNP, APRN, FNP-C of USF Health Pediatrics shares helpful tips for kids and parents to have fun on Halloween, while not going crazy consuming too much candy.

For parents and kids:

  • Allow a candy splurge and then encourage kids to split up their candy into three piles, some for now, some for later and some to donate.
  • Go through your children’s candy first, be diligent about removing any candy that is inappropriate for your child’s age or if your child has a known allergy.
  • Little kids and toddlers should avoid hard candy. Fun items such as toys or pencils are always a great option.
  • Set limits on daily candy consumption, 3-4 pieces of candy a day.
  • To increase supervision and avoid bugs, it’s best to keep candy out of kids bedrooms.
  • Give out snack pack size candy to encourage moderation.
  • Consume more water on Halloween and avoid juice to help limit additional sugar and prevent dehydration.
  • Parents should avoid using candy as a reward/prize after Halloween.
  • Be a good role model, kids copy their parents behavior, so don’t overdo it eating your kid’s Halloween candy.

Candy is obviously full of sugar, but many foods that contain sugar are not as apparent. “We are seeing a rise in Type 2 Diabetes in younger children. We are trying to educate parents,” Dr. Mitchell said. “Juice is considered sugar and not recommended as part of a child’s daily diet. Eating whole fruit and drinking more water should be encouraged as well as eliminating sodas.” In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised their sugar intake limit for kids age 2-18 to 6 teaspoons per day, currently kids consume 3x that on average.

Candy is a highlight of Halloween, but with a bit of moderation after the post trick or treat splurge, the candy debate can be resolved for parents and kids. “Remember to drink more water, have fun and stay safe on Halloween,” Dr. Mitchell said.

To make an appointment with USF Health Pediatrics, please call (813) 259-8700.

Written By: Kathleen Rogers

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap