Safety first for Halloween
Halloween is almost here, and if you have young ones, there is probably excitement building in your household. With millions of kids out trick-or-treating, and millions of pounds of candy given out in just a few hours on Halloween evening, it might be good to have a few safety reminders to keep the evening fun and healthy.
Safety first when out trick-or-treating:
- Be sure that costumes fit well, and are not baggy or too long, causing tripping.
- Put reflective tape on everything, from costume to shoes to candy bucket.
- Use a flashlight to safely maneuver from home to home.
- Use crosswalks and sidewalks on the roadways.
- Make sure an adult goes with all children. And travel in groups – no solo trick-or treating.
- Do not go into homes, even if invited inside. It is best to stay on the front porch.
No tasting or nibbling on treats until everyone gets home:
- Candy buckets need to be emptied so that all gathered goodies can be checked over.
- Factory-wrapped candy only can be kept. Sorry – fresh fruit and home baked items need to be pitched.
- Look for tampering on all candy.
Before heading out for a fun evening of trick-or-treating, it helps to serve a healthy dinner so there is no temptation to nibble because of hunger.
Plan a Halloween dinner menu with the kids based on orange-colored foods. It could be:
- Orange bell peppers, mandarin oranges and blackberry fruit salad
- Sweet potato fries or mashed sweet potatoes
- Raw carrot sticks with dip
- Salmon cakes with mango salsa
What happens if you end up with lots of candy leftover? Cut it up and freeze to use later in the year as an addition to cake and brownie batter, cookie dough or as a topper for ice cream, or bag some of it up for your local nursing home to share with the elderly residents.
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.