Some tricks to reduce treats

This Halloween, most kids will go out trick or treating and this usually results in huge bag of goodies.

So, how do you stop your children literally eating so much that it makes them sick? Here are a few hints to limit sweet consumption without transforming your little angels into complete monsters.

Preparation, preparation, preparation: Do not leave home without a healthy teatime meal. The theory being that the less hungry children are the less sweets they will eat and the bigger the chance that they will bring more home (less snacking during trick or treating ).

Set limits: Setting limits with your children before they go out trick or treating is a good approach. You can always store sweets collected in a special container which can be eaten over a longer time rather than gorging on all at one go. Encouraging sharing with other children can mean a big stash of sweets can be distributed widely.

Be a role model: It is also important that parents act as good role models. There is no point trying to explain to your child why too much chocolate is bad for their teeth while you are chomping your way through the leftovers.

Alternatives: Do not forget there are other alternative to sweets, like stickers, small toys, temporary tattoos and little bottles of bubbles. These can be a nice change from the usual sticky treats. But just to be careful that children are aware they are toys and not sweets, as small plastic stuff can be a choking hazard.

For more information on diet and nutrition, contact: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster, on (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].

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