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We don’t expect your Halloween faves to be nutritious, but there are some treats you should be scared of. Whether you’re digging through a candy-filled pillowcase or deciding what to give out to trick-or-treaters, use these tips to keep kiddies safe.
Terrifying for Teeth
Halloween only comes once a year, but you’ve got to take care of your teeth year round. The Academy for General Dentistry warns against super-sticky gummies and taffy that can easily lodge in tiny spaces between teeth. Also, watch out for those increasingly popular sour candies; high levels of acid can be harmful to tooth enamel.
Do better choices exist? While most candy is less-than-friendly to teeth, sugar-free gum can actually help prevent cavities when you chew it after a meal.
Thousands of children are sent to the hospital each year because of choking accidents. Beware of hard or thick gel-like candies, marshmallows and gum, especially if you have little ones at home. These candies top the list of most dangerous choking hazards and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); children age 3 and under are especially at risk. If some of these goodies find their way into your house, opt for lollipops (for children over 4 years), cut marshmallows into more manageable pieces, and discourage running and playing while munching.
Creepy Extra Calories
It’s not news that candy has calories, and all those extra treats can make getting on the scale spooky. Try to offset these extra calories around Halloween by cutting back on other high sugar foods like baked goods and soda.
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Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »
The candy that fills your kids’ trick-or-treat bags is much more frightening than the ghosts and goblins out on Halloween.