Here’s how much candy you, your kids should really be eating this Halloween

And how to donate, earn cash with the leftovers
Here’s how much candy you, your kids should really be eating this Halloween

Healthy and Halloween: it’s not often those two words are used in the same sentence. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the average trick-or-treater consumes nearly three cups of sugar and 1.5 cups of fat, around 3,500 calories… just on Halloween night.

While the holiday is a fun time for both kids and adults, the candy aftermath can be downright scary.

How many treats should adults really be eating?

It depends on the person, according to registered dietitian Tami Schiltz. But what all people should do is focus on their mindset.

“If you worry about eating too much candy, that’s likely what you’ll do,” Schiltz said. “Set your intentions before you even buy the candy.”

If you’re a last-minute shopper, Schiltz suggests buying candy you don’t like, or if you are a fan of everything, don’t open the bags until trick-or-treating begins.

How much candy should your kids consume on Halloween?

While it’s unrealistic to expect your kids refrain from all candy this holiday, it’s your job as a parent to make sure they fill up on other food, too.

“Make sure everyone has either a healthy, balanced snack or meal before trick-or-treating,” Schiltz said. She recommends putting an emphasis on protein and vegetables, knowing there will be a lot of sugar later.

“Talk with your kids and have an agreed-upon plan for candy consumption that night,” Schiltz said. “For example, pick a favorite during trick-or-treating and another one for after.”

Once your kids get home, Schiltz suggests taking the focus off eating the candy. Get excited to sort and count it with them.

What about all the leftover candy you’ll likely have?

Schiltz recommends donating rather than dumping.

There are a variety of candy buyback programs and ways to share your stash.

The national Halloween Candy Buyback has local businesses, including many dentist offices, buying back kids’ candy. Sometimes, it’s with cash; other times, it’s in exchange for coupons or items like toothbrushes.

Click here to search for a candy buyback program near you.

You can also donate your sweets to deployed troops, veterans, and first responders. Operation Gratitude and Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops are two national programs that collect candy to send to deployed troops and first responders.

Ronald McDonald House Charities also donate unopened candy to severely sick kids who didn’t get the opportunity to trick-or-treat.

If you do plan on keeping all your candy, Schiltz says you should consider freezing it. This time of year, it could be used for holiday baking.

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