I’m excited to introduce to you one of my bestest friends, Debbie. Dr. Debbie is a board-certified pediatrician currently practicing part time at a children’s urgent care facility. As a wife and Mom of three boys and one princess, she stays busy managing her home and juggling her kids’ crazy schedules. She brings to us more than eight years of medical practice as well as almost nine years as a Mom. If we’re really lucky, in addition to her medical wisdom, one day we may get her to divulge her secrets to making exquisite caramel apples.
In preparation for Halloween, I asked Dr. Debbie for some tips all Supermoms should know and follow on Halloween. Here are her top five:
1:: Feed your kids a good, early dinner.
Make an early dinner that includes protein and vegetables. Filling up on a balanced dinner will keep your children’s blood sugar more stable, helping to prevent sugar crashes. If you eat a carb-heavy dinner (such as pasta), your body will break down the carbohydrates into sugar as you’re out and about, essentially increasing your blood glucose. Your body then produces more insulin causing a “crash” effect as the glucose drops quickly; leaving your kids tired and cranky. (And who wants tired cranky kids on Halloween night?) Also, not only is it safer to trick-or-treat before dark, but also by starting sooner, you’ll be done earlier, hopefully giving your children a chance to eat some candy and let it digest before tucking them in bed for sweet dreams.
2:: Wait until you’re home to eat any candy.
All candy should be properly inspected for tampering, allergies and age appropriateness before consuming. Your home will provide the best calm and lighted atmosphere for this inspection. If they insist upon eating candy along the route, bring along a few pieces from your stash at home.
3:: Wash your hands.
Between grabbing treats, trading candy and playing with friends, germs are settling everywhere. Halloween falls in the middle of flu season, so Dr. Debbie suggests taking extra precautions to limit the spread of germs as much as possible. For example, rather than having trick-or-treaters dig through your bowl of sweets, hand out your treats. (The fewer hands that touch the candy, the fewer germs are spread.) Additionally, encourage your children to wash their hands before eating any candy. While it may be hard to disinfect your candy wrappers (it’s not suggested to wipe/disinfect the candy wrappers, as some wrappers may be porous), parents can open the package, and children can then grab the candy with clean hands.
4:: Brush and floss.
Really. It does make a difference.
5:: Make a plan.
Decide ahead of time how much candy your child will be allowed to eat on Halloween, and stick to the plan. Also, set expectations for the remaining candy. Where will you store it? How often will your child have access to the candy? Dr. Debbie recommends storing the candy someplace you’ll have control, such as the kitchen pantry. Offer the candy at meal times. Limiting “grazing” habits encourages healthy eating at mealtimes and is better for your child’s teeth. You could also offer your kids the opportunity to trade their candy for a toy or special activity.
Please note: this post is for informational use only. Please consult your pediatrician or family physician for professional medical advice specific to your child.